The holidays come with seemingly endless images of joy and togetherness, love stories and happy endings. But for many, this time of year is particularly hard. If you experienced a recent (or not so recent) break-up, you may be among the many for whom the holidays inspire less of a cheery disposition and more of a just-get-through-it mind-set. If this sounds like you, you are not alone.
You can check out our recent blog 4 Ways Therapy Can Help You After a Break-Up, or here are some tips to get through this holiday season after a break-up.
1. Feel your feelings.
Sometimes the judgment you pass on yourself for feeling the way you do feels as bad or worse than the underlying emotion. The expectation to feel any different because of the season is part of what makes this time of year hard. So, adjust your expectations and set aside some time to feel your feelings.
This may mean taking a few quiet moments to acknowledge what is coming up and offering yourself compassion in the moment. It may look like writing in a journal or going for a mindful walk. However you choose to tend to your feelings, acknowledge that this year looks different than you expected, and that’s okay. That is not to say it isn’t hard, uncomfortable, or painful. But relieve yourself of the pressure to feel anything other than what you are feeling.
2. Create a new tradition.
This can be a great time to reflect on gratitude and values, and create a new tradition based on what is important to you. Are there parts of old traditions you want to keep? What felt good about them? How can you incorporate that into a new tradition that fits your present-day values and lifestyle? Or maybe there is something completely new that piques your interest. Take this opportunity to create a tradition that feels personal to you.
3. Make a plan (and when saying “no” is part of that plan).
Anticipate who you will want to be with and what you would like to do for the holidays that you celebrate, and make a plan. Your job is to take care of you, and sometimes saying yes to what we need means saying no to something else.
If the idea of saying no has you sweating, it might help to focus on what you are saying yes to. For instance, if staying home and watching a movie by the fire sounds best, you can focus on saying yes to feeling warm and cozy in your favorite pajamas, yes to having a quiet space to cry, yes to that movie and hand-picked snacks, yes to a good night’s sleep, yes to everything else that makes staying in sound best. Those things might not be “yes’s” for someone else, and that’s okay. You know you best.
4. Connect with others.
I know, I know. I just said it was okay to stay home, and it is! And, it is also important to intentionally connect with your fellow humans. This might look like calling a trusted friend or family member, offering kind words to the grocery store cashier, or waving to the neighbor.
If you are struggling to find connection, or feel like you could use some additional support, it might be a good time to reach out to a therapist or a support group. You are not alone, and that means you don’t have to get through this alone.
We have several groups available that might be a fit for you after going through a break-up! Our Divorce Support Group is for those that have experienced a long-term relationship break-up or divorce, and our Men’s Support Group and Women’s Support Group can also provide you the healing you need after a break-up.
How We Can Help
We are starting a divorce/break up support group in January 2023
For individuals who want to heal from the emotional turmoil of a divorce or break-up while getting support and tools to move forward with your life again.
Interested in registering for the group? Fantastic! Please use the link below to get more information and sign up.
If you are looking for general support, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:
Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation
Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxed life
Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Becca Tarnowski is a Master’s level student counselor at Regis University and intern at Catalyss Counseling. She moved from Chicago to Boulder, Colorado in 2003 where she earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from University of Colorado. Becca currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, their 2 young children and their dog. In her free time, Becca enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and playing board games with friends and family. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.