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4 tips for dealing with divorce during the holidays

Divorce is a complicated and stressful process, which can be made even more so during the holidays. This is especially true if you and your spouse are still working out a custody agreement and determining how you will split your child's time during the winter break. Facing the possibility of spending the holidays without your spouse or your child can be very painful.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take in order to navigate the holidays in the midst of your divorce.

1: Prepare

During this time, your emotions may be heightened and overwhelming. Make sure you have a support system in place to provide you with positive reinforcements. This could mean having your therapist on speed dial or having periodic correspondence with a close friend or sibling.

2: Have some fun

Don't be tempted to stay hidden away in your home. Force yourself to go out and be social, even if it's only for an hour or two at a time. Keeping yourself secluded can lead to increased depression and loneliness. Staying active will help combat negative feelings.

3: Set some boundaries

You know what you can and cannot handle. Don't be afraid to say no to your family and friends when they begin doling out holiday duties. It is perfectly fine to tell them that you won't be hosting the traditional New Year party or that you won't be bringing the ham to Christmas dinner this year.

Don't let other people dictate your schedule because they think they are doing you a favor by keeping you busy and thereby taking your mind off your divorce.

4: Make a difference

Sometimes helping another person is the best way to feel better. This year, participate in a volunteer program to wrap presents for military personnel, donate toys to needy children or take a shift serving meals for the homeless. Putting your energy to use by giving to others can bring the holiday spirit back to you even in the midst of a divorce.

Divorce can be an incredibly complicated and emotional process that you don't have to go through alone. During such a stressful time, it is im portant to make sure that your interests are being protected. Contact a local Alabama attorney experienced with family law to find out your options.

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