How to Survive Divorce Season and (gulp!) the Holidays

Photo courtesy of Everton Vila / Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Everton Vila / Unsplash

How are you doing out there? Flipping your lid? Yup, pretty sure we all are — it’s that time of year. As a lawyer friend just informed me, it’s Divorce Season.

As we all know, the shit hits the fan during the holidays. We’re all stressed out and overwhelmed, and most everyone we know has started to irritate the bejesus out of us. Your usually-cute bunny looks like he’s about to shear off your head, like Snowball from The Secret Life of Pets. Your mother-in-law, too.

What to do about it?

First of all, SLOW DOWN. Take a deep breath and give yourself some extra time and space.

Forreal.

Then realize that EVERYONE around you is feeling just as crazed.

Your boss, your kid, your coworker. And, oh yeah, your spouse.

And most of what they’re flipping their lid about has nothing to do with you. Even though it looks like it has everything to do with you. (More about this in the next post.)

We’re all triggered as hell during the holidays, and this year has been especially rough, with usually-kind friends and loved ones turning on each other after an especially bitter election season.

I’m pretty sure that most of us are ready to jump out of the car right now and keep running.

So don’t make any sudden moves.

Got it, partner?

Cause whatever’s going on in your life (or marriage) will still be here come January, once you have more time and space to deal with it.

In the meantime, here’s a super big and important Get Out of Jail Free Card that I was recently given:

When we don’t give ourselves the basic self-care that we need, we think we need to make drastic changes in our life, like get a divorce or quit our jobs. 

When all we really need to do is START TAKING CARE OF OURSELVES.

I know. This is crazy, right?

Sadly, it’s damn true.

And by taking care of yourself, I don’t mean “drinking an entire bottle of wine” or “eating an entire carton of cookies.” I mean: getting a good night’s sleep and taking time for yourself. Going for a walk. Reading a book if you ‘effin want to. Painting a picture. Listening to music that feeds your soul.

Whatever it is that floats your boat and, gasp, makes you happy.

Because if you’re miserable underneath, no amount of presents or attention from your loved ones is going to help that. Cause there’s still that damn sink hole swallowing you up from underneath.

Oh yeah. Been there, done that.

And if you’re like most people I know, taking care of yourself also probably means saying NO to some sucky holiday obligations so that you can say YES to the ones that really matter.

Like saying NO to that crappy office drink-a-thon you don’t want to attend so that you can say YES to taking your kids to a movie. Or saying NO to working that extra shift so that you can spend some time with your aging parents. Or saying NO to spending $500 on gifts for the kids so that you can say YES to putting that money toward a family vacation.

It’s your choice, friend, but this year, really let it be a choice. How do you want to spend the holiday? Grumpy or pissed off? Or a bit more chilled out and relaxed?

So start by filling your well before trying to fill anyone else’s. And say YES to what really matters.

I’d love to hear what you’re saying YES to this holiday. How are you taking care of yourself? What are you doing for FUN? Leave a comment below. 

P.S.: I’m SUPER excited to announce my new book, The Secret Life of Grief: A Memoir. Friends, please share this book with anyone who needs it, especially this holiday season. Truly, this book is a gift from my heart. You can read more about the book here, but in the meantime, here’s what folks are saying:

What an incredible gift. I will be giving many of my family and friends copies of this stunning and relatable book. Roxxyyy
Pajevic’s emotional rawness and eloquent honesty throughout her mother’s illness and death are reminiscent of Brene Brown and Glennon Melton. Having experienced major losses myself, her words and longing for a healthier way to grieve resonated deeply with me. I want to share this book with everyone, in order to help change how our society handles grief! Amazon customer

 

 

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