It is that time of year when families get together, traditions are celebrated, and we focus on what makes us most thankful. This may have been a truly difficult year for you and it can feel so difficult to find what makes you thankful. It is important, especially if this is your first Thanksgiving after a divorce to not isolate. You may want to do this and pretend that the holiday isn't even happening. When you do this, you are avoiding your emotions. There is nothing wrong with the emotions that you may feel. You might feel more sad, angry, or overwhelmed during the holiday season than on a regular day. However, when we deny our feelings, we only make life more difficult for ourselves. Acknowledge how you are feeling and be with people anyway. If you can, be with people that know you, love you and support you.

If you have children, plan something special with them. You can also choose to give back. By helping others, it is proven to boost our self esteem and our mood. Donate to a local charity, pass out a meal in a soup kitchen, spend time with someone that is shut in their home and unable to leave. You can do these things with kids too, teaching them that the world is not just about them. This and other events can be part of new traditions. You can let go of some of the old and embrace the new. Creating your own traditions is a way of claiming the holiday in your present situation and lets go of the belief that holidays are only for married people with children. This simply isn't true. You can have your own traditions. You can cook your own meal or go out to eat, whatever you want to do. This can be fun! 

Lastly, take a moment to give thanks. There is something that is working right in the world, even if it is your health, the weather, the fact that your car started or for the bed you sleep in at night. Find at least one thing and focus on it. Fully acknowledge the good in your life. Often during a divorce, we focus on the negative. It is the easy thing to do. But for just one day, focus on the positive

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AuthorKelly Higdon