For alienated parents, many dread the holiday season. No matter what holiday(s) you celebrate, 'the holidays' are either the most joyous or most dreadful time of year. This post is to help parents who are cutoff from their children. Whether to a small or large degree, there are still things you can do to best navigate this season with grace, gratitude, and a sense of togetherness - despite being cutoff from your child.
1. Embrace Supportive Friends & Family
The beauty of life is that you can create a family of friends, coworkers, neighbors, and like-minded individuals. Embrace the people who have been there for you, and reach out to them during the holidays. Plan a small gathering or enjoy a virtual get-together with long-distance friends. Don't isolate yourself during this time of year. If you won't be seeing your children,
2. Volunteer and Give Back
One of the most fulfilling ways to spend the holiday season is by giving back. Find local charities or organizations that need volunteers. Helping others can bring a profound sense of purpose and connection during this time of year. While monetary donations are indeed helpful, giving your time and energy to physically helping those in need is a great way to both give back and direct your focus to charitable work rather than on the negative emotions of being alienated.
3. Create New Traditions
Don't be bound by tradition; instead, create your own. Perhaps it's a holiday-themed movie marathon, cooking a special dish, or decorating your home in a unique way. New traditions can make the holidays feel fresh and exciting -- and they can be traditions with yourself! Maybe you book a spa trip for yourself each holiday season as a reward for making it through a rough year.
4. Practice Self-Care
The holidays can be emotionally challenging for alienated parents and for those who feel alone. Use this time for self-care and self-reflection. Treat yourself to activities you enjoy, whether it's reading, taking long walks, or indulging in a self-care day at home. Prioritize you. Sip hot cocoa by the fire. Take advantage of what the season has to offer.
5. Reach Out
Remember that you're not the only one feeling this way. Reach out to others who may also be experiencing loneliness during the holidays. Extend a kind word, a virtual coffee date, or a simple message to let them know they're not alone. Check out our private Facebook group of almost 19,000 alienated parents.
6. Focus on Gratitude
Count your blessings, no matter how small they may seem. Gratitude can shift your perspective and help you appreciate the things you do have in your life. Create a gratitude journal and make it a daily practice during the holiday season.
7. Show Up
If you're in the midst of a custody battle and can't see your children for the holidays, don't do nothing. Send a care package, Christmas gifts, a simple holiday letter. You will know you've done your part sending unconditional love their way, to your beloved child.
8. Seek Support
If feelings of loneliness and sadness become overwhelming, don't hesitate to seek guided support. Our coaches are trained to provide guidance for alienated parents, and tools to help you through the holiday season and for the upcoming new year. Tools that will carry with you not just throughout the holiday season, but to have and hold moving forward. There is no better time to start with the support that keeps on giving!
Remember that the holiday season is a time for love, compassion, and connection. Despite not having your child during this time, focus on the love and joy you can bring into your own life and the lives of those around you.