Give yourself the gift of YOU

Re-charge your energy to lower your stress and avoid living in the “red zone” during the holiday season. It is a must to schedule a minimum of ten minutes a day for yourself every single day to recharge your energy, even if only sitting down with a cup of tea.

Learn to let go
Throw that worn-out holiday to-do list in the nearest receptacle! Instead focus your time and energy on planning fun activities with your children and special friends.

Start new traditions
To help move your life forward after divorce, it is important to start new holiday traditions with your children and family. Some of the new traditions could include engaging your children to reach out to a local charity or children\’s hospital and plan a daily “act of kindness.”

Focus on the positive
Start today with positive thinking and reduce those negative feelings before they overwhelm your state of mind. Pick a day to begin, and have your children identify one thing they are grateful for. Post the list on the refrigerator and let them add an item each day. A great way to start the New Year!

Be kind to Yourself
Do something special for yourself, especially during the holiday season.
Go shopping and buy something just for you…not the children or the house.
Plan an evening with friends or rent a movie and relax. Embrace the goodness of your spirit and decide that you control your peacefulness.

DON\’T

Don\’t let your mind work overtime
During the holidays and after divorce, it is very common for your mind to work overtime with the “what ifs” and “if only” as well as negative thoughts. When the holiday stress starts – reflect on your contributions to the happiness of others; a smile to a homeless person, a thank you to a colleague, a hug with your children.

Don\’t isolate yourself
Especially during the holidays, surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Plan a pot luck gathering in your home and have each person bring a new friend to share the holiday spirit.

Don\’t beat yourself up
After divorce, many women have the attitude that “I\’m not good enough” and this feeling seems to skyrocket even more during the holidays. Be gentle with yourself! You are unique and special. There is no one else in the universe like you. Prepare to launch your new self with laughter and new intentions.

Don\’t let bitterness take over
Turn your energy towards your future. Build a “dream” collage about your future and have your children do the same. Get a pile of magazines, a pair of scissors, and glue stick…and go for it. Have some fun!

Don\’t ignore your intuition
Emotions run very high during the holidays and it may seem difficult to make a decision. Listen to your heart-of-hearts. Be patient with your decisions and understand that choice is by design. Honor your sense of right and wrong and believe in who you have become.

Joanie is the Founder of the Fresh Start after Divorce community, author of Rising to the Top, A Guide to Self Development and hosts her own radio show called The Happy Wednesday Broadcast. She is also the Founder of the Happy Wednesday Foundation, whose mission statement is to provide a healthy lifestyle for all children, women and families through educational programs and affordable housing.