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Five Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season During Divorce

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by Trey Yates

The holidays are only days away. Traditionally, holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah,Kwanzaa, and the Winter Solstice are a time for bringing the family together to celebrate. However, when you are in the middle of or have recently completed divorce proceedings, the season can feel much less festive.Throughout my years of practice as a divorce lawyer in Houston, I have collected many tips from my clients and other divorce attorneys for dealing with the stresses of divorce during the holiday season. Below is my list of five tips for surviving divorce during the holidays:


1. Surround yourself with positive people. Try to steer clear of negativity. It goes without saying that divorce is very stressful and takes a tremendous amount of mental and physical energy. Hang out safely or online with friends who uplift you and try to steer clear of those who bring you down.


2. Treat yourself to something special. Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic, many luxury services are no longer available for safety reasons. That does not mean you cannot set aside time to pamper yourself. Light candles and soak in a bubble bath. Order a three-course dinner from your favorite restaurant. Buy that necklace you have had your eye on. When you give more to yourself, you have more to offer others.


3. Stay mindful of your health and well-being. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that our health is a gift. Eat nutritious meals. Make sure you get enough exercise and sleep. Try not to overeat or drink to excess. Be sure not to neglect your mental health, either. Socializing, engaging in hobbies, and practicing mindfulness are all important ways to keep from burning out. 


4. Approach traditions in a new way. 2020 will be changing everyone’s holiday season. This year, consider hosting your holiday dinners on Zoom, where you will be able to enjoy each other’s company without the stress of cooking for a crowd. Organize a car parade for your older friends and relatives who may be lonely this holiday season, creating a new way to interact that keeps everyone safe. If you’re feeling altruistic and can do so safely, volunteer to work with an organization helping those who have been hurt most by this pandemic, such as with a local food bank.


5. Set realistic expectations. You may not be able to visit certain loved ones if they are older or are at risk for severe reactions to COVID-19. It might not be possible to partake in specific traditions due to public health guidelines. Maintaining realistic expectations for the holiday season can go a long way towards reducing stress and frustration. Practice good self-care, establish clear boundaries, and take things one day at a time. It will get easier!


Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III is a Houston-based Board Certified Family Law Attorney and creator of The Guide to Good Divorce℠  seminars for women. If you have questions about your Texas divorce, please contact The Law Office of Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III, P.C. for a consultation. If you’d like more information about Trey Yates’ 2021 The Guide to Good Divorce℠ seminars ,please visit or call 713.742.6606.