Legal Blog

Finding Holiday Joy During a Separation or Divorce

Multiethnic group of people at festive dinner table celebrating Thanksgiving together and enjoying rustic roasted dishesOriginally posted 12/18/19, no content changes. 

A divorce or separation is rarely convenient, but it’s especially difficult when it happens in or around the holiday season.

If you’re currently splitting up with a spouse, you may feel extremely stressed out and overwhelmed. If you’ve just completed a divorce or separation, you may be exhausted and deeply drained. Either way, you’re probably experiencing feelings of anger, sadness, loneliness, dissociation, or any number of negative emotions. The holidays tend to exacerbate these feelings as we’re barraged by images of happy families and painful reminders of years past.

At the same time, there are frequent family obligations, travel complexities, and the financial pressures of gift-giving—all of which pose challenges on their own. And the whole situation is exponentially harder when there are kids involved.

It doesn’t have to be all bad. Whatever you’re going through this holiday season, here are a few ways to find joy:

  1. Take a deep breath. Pause for a moment and practice mindfulness. Acknowledge each feeling as it occurs, then let it go. A few minutes of this a day can make a major impact in improving your overall sense of well-being.
  2. Give yourself a gift. Be kind to yourself. Appreciate your ability to weather all you’ve gone through. Take some time off if you can. Buy yourself something nice. Go see a movie. Sleep in. Take a dip in the pool. However you’d like to reward yourself, now’s the time to do it.
  3. Reach out. Many recent divorcees feel isolated during the holiday season. There’s no need to wallow in it. Call a friend or family member. Go to a local meetup group. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Any way you can get out into the world will bring you happiness and comfort.
  4. Shift your mindset. Rather than dwelling on the negative, think about what you’re thankful for. Reconnect with your sense of curiosity and wonder. Take a walk. Try something new. You may just find yourself experiencing even greater joy than you would have in a “normal” holiday season.

Offit Kurman wishes you a joyous, restful, and rejuvenating holiday season. From all of us to you: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!


professional headshot of principal attorney, Sandra | 240.507.1716

As a family law attorney, Sandra (Sandy) Brooks’ practice focuses on a wide range of aspects in regards to family law. She dedicates her time to assisting clients in domestic law matters including divorce, child custody and visitation, family mediation, spousal and child support, property division, and division of retirement benefits. Other matters that fall under her jurisdiction as a family law attorney include tax consequences of divorce, mediation, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, negotiating and drafting of separation agreements, domestic litigation, and post-judgment proceedings.