The holidays are an exciting time for gathering together with loved ones and stirring up some holiday cheer but, when families transition and holidays start to look a little less than ‘normal’— it can be an all-out emotional struggle.
Tips for Co-parenting through the holidays:
The name of the game here is mental health. When co-parenting during the holidays, it’s important to recognize that what you are experiencing is normal— and normal looks a lot of different ways. Everyone copes differently. In the midst of changing traditions, missing children, and painful memories it’s important to approach the holidays with a plan for your overall mental health.
- Get Specific. Yes, easier said than done. However, when it comes to pick-up and drop-off this area tends to create a lot of stress. With holiday plans are in the balance, it helps if everyone can commit to being on time.
- Talk to your kids. Your children will appreciate being emotionally prepared for what is to come. Reiterate plans with them and let them know what to expect, or what to do if something unexpected occurs.
- Plan new traditions. It can be painful to skip the normal holiday routine and its easy to think yourself into a funk. Talk with family and friends about planning new traditions. Take the focus off of whats missing and make room for what is to come.
- Rely on family and friends. It can be easy to want to hide away in the house during such emotionally devastating times. However— getting out and doing the opposite often is what is best for your mental health. Better yet, take a page out of Ted Lasso’s playbook: volunteer your time. After all, serving others is not only helpful to the community, but it helps people find new relationships and fresh perspectives.
- Exercise. Yes. It’s scientifically proven to make you feel happier and keep off that holiday weight. We’re not saying you have to go crazy here, but a little cardio goes a long way. Walking for 30-45 minutes a day can help generate a positive outlook and stimulate your mind for the challenges ahead.
- Talk to a Therapist. Speaking with a licensed therapist is for everyone, regardless of what you’ve heard. Having someone help you sort through so many emotions, can help you make the most of your situation— not just co-parenting during the holidays. A good therapist can also provide you with tools or techniques for handling those difficult moments when they arise. You might find that most therapists are out during the holidays, however— you can still find licensed therapists anytime of the day on a wide selection of therapy apps now provided through most mobile phone app stores. And you won’t even have to change out of your pajamas.
As an experienced family attorney, I realize the stress holiday plans can put families under. The holidays can be an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved. If you’d like to speak with someone regarding your co-parenting plan, contact us today.
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