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Tips for the newly single to get through the holidays

Change is often a good thing. For one, it brings about growth. But if your recent changes involve separation or divorce and this is your first holiday as newly single, change can feel about as welcome as a skunk at a garden party.

It's expected — and quite normal — that you will feel a heightened sense of loss during the winter holidays. After all, you spent so many past holidays as one-half of a coupled unit. That doesn't mean that you should crawl under the covers until the calendar changes to 2019, however.

Below are some tips to help you survive the holidays this year.

Create new traditions

Whether that means heading out of town on a Caribbean cruise or a ski trip to Vail, changing your surroundings can provide you with a fresh outlook on this next chapter of your life.

Sometimes, just doing different things right here at home will suffice. If you are really down in the dumps, consider volunteering at a homeless shelter or adopting a military family who has a parent stationed overseas this year. That could be enough to make you once again count your blessings.

Adopt a shelter pet

If you are looking for unconditional love, look no farther than your local animal shelter. It's said that when you adopt a shelter pet, you really save two lives — the one that goes home with you and the one that takes its place in the shelter and gains a shot at finding a home one day.

Follow a schedule

This is especially important if you are a parent whose children will be splitting their holiday time with you and their other parent for the first time. Devising a schedule allows all parties to understand when they will be where, but it also has the secondary benefit of letting you know which days and hours to fill with other activities.

It's all right, too, if you are not able to keep up a frenetic holiday pace. Your schedule can allow you the luxury of "down time" where you can sleep in or even have a mini-meltdown if the stress gets too much.

If your depression lingers, your San Antonio family law attorney may be able to recommend a counselor that you could see for a few sessions in order to put everything in perspective once again.

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