September 25, 2023

Divorce and break-up coach Claire Macklin joins us to share ideas for navigating a household Christmas after separation or divorce.

Christmas is usually a difficult time of 12 months for separated households. Expectations and feelings are excessive, established routines are interrupted, time along with your youngsters is split, and plenty of of my shoppers find yourself feeling anxious.

I perceive. I keep in mind feeling the identical about Christmas the primary couple of years after my divorce, particularly the primary time that our youngsters have been spending Christmas with their Dad.

I needed to determine whether or not to let it get me down or to seek out new methods to get pleasure from Christmas.

Change is at all times troublesome, however the reality is that no matter your new actuality, you at all times have a selection. You’ll be able to let it management and outline you, or you possibly can select to take again your energy and consciously put your self again within the driving seat.

These strategies would possibly problem you at first, however I promise they are going to assist you in the long term.

Apprehensive Christmas received’t be the identical as earlier than?

While it’s true that Christmas received’t be the identical as earlier than, and there’s little you are able to do to vary issues, you possibly can select to reset your strategy and focus.

Ask your self how might you make it higher for your self? What new traditions would possibly you be capable of begin? Is there something you’ve at all times needed to do however couldn’t? By making this Christmas completely different, you keep away from evaluating it to Christmases previous and as an alternative open up the chance to create new traditions.

Reasonably than specializing in what you possibly can’t do, ask your self what you CAN do.

Are you dreading spending Christmas Day alone?

For those who’re spending Christmas Day alone, my recommendation is to ask your self what it’s you’re most dreading and be sincere along with your reply. Is it waking up by yourself, spending the day by your self, or one thing else?

As soon as what’s on the centre of the sense of dread you possibly can take into consideration methods by which you would possibly overcome that half. Write down your concepts irrespective of how massive or small and take into account how you could possibly make them a actuality.

Do you a pal in an analogous place? Understanding somebody who has already efficiently navigated Christmas post-divorce offers you a chance to seek out out what helped them, and what they’ve learnt.

Give your self the present of taking energy over your time. Ask your self if there may be one benefit of the state of affairs, what’s it? What WON’T you miss? Considered one of my shoppers shared that they have been wanting ahead to a extra relaxed Christmas “extra mess, extra noise, extra enjoyable” with out their ex-partner clearing up round them.

Are you fearful the way you’ll cope with out your youngsters?

For those who’ve at all times spent Christmas Day along with your youngsters, it will undoubtedly be difficult.

Attempt to shift your focus to the time you DO have collectively this Christmas. Create plans collectively so that everybody can contribute to the brand new traditions and festivities. Your youngsters will take their cue from you. In case you are feeling down or resentful, they are going to really feel it too. Once you’re upbeat and enthusiastic concerning the time you may have collectively, they’ll take your lead.

Bear in mind, Christmas day is simply sooner or later, and you’ll select to have yours everytime you need. When my youngsters are at their Dad’s for Christmas Day, we now have a full-on Christmas on a distinct weekend – turkey, all of the trimmings, stockings, items, household over, the lot. They now ask “when’s our Christmas Day this 12 months Mum?”.

I requested my son how he feels about Christmas – “it’s nice, we now have two Christmases!” was his fast response. Once you body this new actuality positively, your youngsters can see the nice in it.

Are you offended your ex will get to spend Christmas with the youngsters?

Contemplate issues out of your baby’s perspective. Shut your eyes and picture you’re them, seeing, listening to, and experiencing issues from their perspective. This may be difficult, but it surely’s value doing so you possibly can put your baby’s pursuits first.

  • How do they really feel?
  • What do they need?
  • What message would they provide you?

No baby needs to see their mother and father arguing over the place they are going to spend Christmas Day. Nevertheless arduous it’s, or nevertheless amicable you and your ex-partner are, attempt to take a step again from the emotion of the state of affairs. Take into consideration the way you often talk along with your ex and make a aware selection to easily reply to them quite than react.

You’ve the ability to shift your focus away from anger concerning the time you don’t have, to embracing the time you do have along with your youngsters.

I don’t need to need to see my ex on Christmas Day

You could have hung out actively avoiding face-to-face contact along with your ex, however usually at Christmas you haven’t any selection however to see them. You’ll be able to put together for these instances through the use of a visualisation method known as Thoughts Motion pictures. Thoughts Motion pictures assist you to think about the long run you need as a way to make it a actuality.

Think about the state of affairs full with feelings and interactions and run it by means of like a film in your thoughts, rehearsing what you need to say. See your self being composed, assured, and calm.

Now rewind the scene and run it once more, asking your self what you could possibly do to make it even higher. Repeat till you’re feeling snug and answerable for the scene.

By visualising the state of affairs your mind will keep in mind your Thoughts Film so while you do see your ex on Christmas Day you possibly can embody the relaxed and assertive you that you simply imagined.

Selecting the way you rejoice Christmas after divorce

Finally, it takes as a lot power to fret and stress about Christmas, because it does to make plans to show issues round and make it higher for your self and your youngsters. It’s as much as you which of them you select.

The important thing to success this Christmas is to shift your focus, cease worrying about Christmas Day, and focus on what you are able to do to make the Christmas holidays nearly as good because it probably could be.

Get in contact

Claire Macklin is a UK-based Divorce & Break-up Coach serving to individuals to separate with dignity and power and redefine life after divorce.

Go to for extra data and assets or to contact Claire.

Helpful Hyperlinks

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Surviving Christmas after separating

Surviving your first Christmas after separation