#112 How To Survive The Holiday Season As A Single Person with Martha Bodyfelt
As the holiday season is fast approaching anyone who experiencing a breakup, separation or a divorce are possibly dreading this time of the year. Martha offers some practical tips and ideas to get you through not only the holiday season but also any other time of the year that can bring an uprising of emotions. This advice will help you to not only handle your reactions but help in your recovery.
Martha’s own marriage ended at the beginning of the holiday season. The hardest part of the breakup was that her ex-husband was not moving out of their apartment for some time. They had decided they would be civil and kind to each other and try and do Christmas as a coupe. This was the worst Christmas, as they were trying to work through the sadness and heartbreak, when this time of the year was supposed to be full of happiness, family and joy.
For a couple of Christmas after that Martha stayed in her apartment, as this time bought back all the feelings of pain of the ending of the marriage. Finding a good support system in the form of a therapist helped Martha. It was draining trying to project this image of the perfect wife, the perfect marriage. When she finally was honest with her self and became vulnerable and started telling friends, co-workers and family and not bottling all her emotions up inside of her she began the healing process.
Martha started to do things that she felt she couldn’t do when she was in the marriage, She travel to the places she wanted go to and started some of her own traditions. It took a few Christmas to get into the swing of things and the number one thing she had to do was to learn how to manage her expectations at this time of the year.
So often when relationships end and it comes to the holidays you can be down on yourself, saying things like why can’t I be happy, why can’t I have this togetherness, why can’t I have the perfect holiday. But if you take a step back and realise that maybe things are going to be a bit more subdued for a while and that’s ok. It’s a matter of having things that are simple and things that you love, if you expect that things are going to be small and simple, then your not going to be disappointed.
Martha believes you also have to be careful of your selective memories. Often at this time of the year you can cherry pick all the good and amazing things that happened when you were with your partner during the holiday season. You forget the rest of the story, some of the things that weren’t that good. So often you like to paint the picture that when you were with your partner everything was great and it probably wasn’t, so you have to be honest with yourself and don’t compare yourself and what is happening now with past experiences.
During this holiday season put yourself first for a change, do what you want, forget the expectations and traditions that have previously been part of your life. Now is the time to create your own traditions and do what you like and take care of yourself. This is an opportunity to change your outlook into more of a positive one. Instead of seeing this holiday season as a sad and traumatic time you have now been given this gift for you find out what you want to do and how you want to celebrate it.
When you are in a relationship you tend to do things as a unit, what is good for the unit, what’s good for your partner, what’s good for the couple. But you have to be careful that you don’t loose yourself and identify when you are in a relationship. When you get out of a relationship you often don’t remember how to putt your self first and find what interests you. Self-care is so important to the recovery process and doing these things that make you happy don’t have to be expensive or elaborate.
In life we have to have a balance with everything and the holidays are no different. If you find that the holidays are triggering things for you and the holidays are making it difficult for you to function and you feel that you are getting stuck. Martha encourages you to work with a therapist or join a divorce support group or single support group, that you can lean on and help you through this difficult process after your breakup.
There can be many days that will trigger your memories such as your wedding day. Martha offered a way to get through this particular day by thinking of something that happened during that day that you liked a good memory and incorporate that into that day each year. For Martha the good memory of her wedding day was the Greek restaurant that they went to and each year on her anniversary Martha either cooks herself an amazing Greek meal or goes out to a Greek restaurant. So now her anniversary is no longer a day where she mourns the ending of her marriage but a day where she gets to eat amazing Greek food.
You can connect with Martha @ survivingyoursplit.com and when you sign up for her newsletter you will get the Ultimate Divorce Goddess Recovery Guide.