Navigating the Holiday Season as a Newly Divorced Parent with Depression: How to Take Care of Your Mental Health and Keep Your Holiday Spirit

Article by Alexis Hall

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Around 4 million divorced parents live in the United States, and around 20 percent (814,000) of them became divorced in the last year. That means that this holiday season will be their first time facing the challenges of negotiating holiday schedules, conflicts over gifts, and other woes of being newly divorced during the holidays. While navigating the holiday season as a newly divorced parent won’t be a cakewalk, you can keep your holiday spirit while also keeping your mental health in check by following some tips.

Try to remember that your kids should never be placed in the middle of the issues you and your ex-spouse have. How you handle the holidays with your ex will greatly affect how much enjoyment your child has during the holidays, and how you handle your ex can be an example to your child on how to handle conflict, stress, and anger. Never ask your child to choose which parent she would rather spend time with. Start communicating with your ex well before the festivities begin to find a fair way to split time. This will cut down on the stress and give you time to prepare for the new adjustment.

If you don’t get to spend the actual day of the holiday with your child, don’t worry. You can have just as much fun on the days near the holiday. Thanksgiving can be celebrated on Tuesday or Saturday, and Christmas can be enjoyed on December 21 or December 30. What matters is that you’re celebrating with your child and spending time together, so focus on that.

Just because you’re apart from your child on the day of the actual holiday doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with her. To lift your spirits, send a nice text message and arrange for a phone call or Skype call. Be careful not to spend too much time on the call; you don’t want to infringe too much on your ex’s time with your child. When talking to your child, keep it upbeat and don’t say anything negative about your ex.

Use your ex’s day with your child to your advantage. Do something that makes you happy and/or relaxed during your child-free time. Call up a friend for coffee, enjoy a day at the spa, or soak in a soothing bath in your own home. Consider a mental health day. Do something that’s not part of your normal routine. For example, if you’re known for binging shows on Netflix, do something different so that you actually recharge. Get outside, see a show, or try something new. To keep stress low throughout the holiday season, be sure to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

Taking a day (or more) for yourself to recharge is especially important during the holidays when you’re more likely to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs at the exact same time every year, usually in the winter months. Symptoms of SAD include the normal symptoms of depression (loss of hope and self-worth, fatigue, sleep issues, etc.), but can lead to more serious issues like addiction. Additionally, you may experience cravings for sugary or starchy foods, extreme sleepiness during the day, difficulty waking up, overeating, and avoidance of family and friends.

Children love routines and rituals, so try to keep some family traditions going. You’ll likely enjoy keeping them too. Ask your child what is really important to her. Maybe baking cookies with mom or choosing a tree with dad are rituals that can continue. If some traditions can’t continue or you can’t be apart of some of them (like if she chooses the tree with one of you), create a new tradition for just the two of you. Take her ice skating, go look at Christmas lights, or volunteer at a soup kitchen.

Remember that attitude is everything. If you anticipate that the holidays will be disappointing, they probably will be. Try to stay positive and remember the true meaning of the holidays. Put your child first and focus on making the holidays enjoyable for her, but don’t forget to make time for yourself too. Although the divorce means this holiday season may be very different ones in the past, it doesn’t have to be an end to your holiday spirit or ability to enjoy the holidays.

Who are we choosing to be?

IMG_4890We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.
We need to start giving more to receive more.
Find peace within before expecting it outside.
Learning to love ourselves so we can love others.
Be ready to question our system of beliefs to create a new society system.
We can be all, create all, become anything.
What are we doing?
What are we choosing?
Who are we choosing to be?
K. Wilson

Bye Bye Irma

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We often tend to take for granted all that we have in our lives. Our health, our home, our family, food in our plates, roof over our heads. And then we always try to get more and more and more. Somehow what we have is never enough.
But sometimes something comes and takes it all. In a split of a second it’s all gone. A hurricane and there’s no more home, no more food, no more water. Our life as we know it is gone, for good. And then how we wish we had it back, all back, just as it was. Nothing else really, that was actually enough.
The simple things are actually the big things. They are the most important. And if we have them now, we owe it to everyone else who don’t, to really appreciate it, and to be grateful for this.
It is all so precious, it is all so fragile.
Blessings to everyone who has been affected by Irma and all and every natural disasters, human disasters, disease, pains and all suffering.

K.wilson

 

 

Magnesium and happiness.

Just a quick reminder that magnesium is essential to our wellbeing in general but to our mental health in particular. It relaxes and calms the nervous system and is important for people with mental health issues.

We need to remember that nowadays most of our soils are depleted in minerals and we are not getting enough magnesium through our food as it should be. So a supplement is highly recommended whether internally or as a physical application.

Personally I like sprays better for immediate relief and direct body absorption especially when like me you have a sensitive digestion.

Our happiness is what we do to ourselves.

www.caim-able.com

 

Still waiting for Prince Charming?

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There is no short cut to happiness and there is no “future” miracle possession that will bring it to us.
No matter how much we fill our life with stuff, nothing will ever fill up a bottomless emptiness.
If we are not happy now the “future things” ( house, dream job, Prada shoes, Prince Charming) will not bring it to us.
We need to make ourselves happy right now.
We need first to let go of what makes us unhappy in our life: the job we hate, the not so charming anymore partner , and then choose what is good for us. What kind of relationship do we want, how do we want to spend the rest of our life day after day, which ‘work’ wouldn’t feel like one.
But then we also need to let go of our unhealthy and unhappy thoughts patterns. Nothing from the outside will ever change them, it will give a quick relief but then it’s back to our old ways of thinking.
We need to change our thoughts, we need to reprogram our mind.
This is an internal work we need to do, not the easiest one but the most rewarding.
And to be honest long lasting happiness is actually easier to find than Prince Charming!
K. Wilson

WORD POWER

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The power of the Word.

What does one word mean

when all is meaningless

when words like thoughts are just ideas floating on clouds

made of thin air

with no beginning and no ending.

What does one word mean

when we are all day bombarded by random texts

by thousand words we catch here and there

that we read, we hear and then we forget

What does one word mean

when we spend our days listening to the ones in our heads

all messed up, pulling us here and there

backwards, forwards,

we are running behind them trying to catch them

looking for answers

searching for their meaning in our lives

What does one word mean

when it is lost among all these?

And what would it mean if it were to stand alone,

in its glory

in its power

in its simplicity

It is everything, it is all that is, it is all we are looking for.

LOVE

The beauty of each day

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There is beauty in each day.

No matter how hard and difficult our lives get, there are always some pieces of beauty sparsely hidden in each day.

We need to to look for them and try to find at least one a day, because it is in these moments that we remember what life is worth living for.

We can get overwhelmed, tired, scared but in a moment we can find beauty and love and that can be enough to forget everything else.

That can be enough to bring us peace.

That can be enough to make us smile.

What did you find beautiful today?

K.Wilson