It is common knowledge that many relationships break down during the holidays. Mid-November to the end of December is a time when a lot of couples give up. Why is this period so popular? Life coach and certified sex therapist, Jacqueline Mendez, explains: “Many couples break up during holidays because the existing cracks in their relationship are magnified. At this time of year, it’s all about love, caring and happiness, and when this is lacking, the contrast only increases.”
Here are 6 tips to survive this difficult time – without a broken heart!
1. ACCEPT YOUR SITUATION
Nobody said it would be easy and you don’t have to act braver than you are. The sooner you accept that, the less stress it will cause you and the quicker you can get on with your life.
“Be nice to yourself and everything else will fall into place.”
This means: making an effort to spend time with friends and family, but not forcing yourself to do things you absolutely don’t want to do. Respect yourself and give yourself permission to skip activities that give you the shivers (couple massages with your family!).
2. KNOW THAT YOU’RE NOT ALONE
During the holidays, it seems as if everyone and their cocker spaniel is engaged or kissing under the mistletoe.
In reality, almost half of all adults are single, as are just over half of all adults between the ages of 18 and 34.
So remember, you’re really, really not alone!
3. DAMAGE CONTROL TAKES PRIORITY
Depending on the exact timing of the fracture, you may need to arrange certain practical matters. For example, save yourself the trouble of having to tell the same news 2000 times during a family celebration by having a friend or parent spread the news in advance.
And no matter how annoying it is, if you have to return gifts from your ex or cancel flights or reservations, do this right away. This way you avoid depressing feelings due to procrastination.
4. BE SOCIAL (OR AT LEAST STAY ACTIVE)
Did you have a lot of social plans with your ex? Don’t sit around grieving on your own. Although, a little self-care isn’t wrong at all.
Make plans for coffee/dinner/drinks with good friends, take a yoga class, go running or just do things that will make you happy, like going to the theatre or cinema or taking a long walk.
5. HELP OTHERS
A breakup during the holidays is perhaps the best chance to focus your energy on others, instead of on yourself.
Volunteering at a charity or shelter can be a great way to give something back to the community.
You will not only help others, but also meet new people, and your heart may feel a little less heavy.
6. STAY AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
If you are away from your support network during the holidays, stay away from social media!
“If someone has a lot of trouble after the breakdown of a relationship and is fixated on his or her ex, staying active on social media will make it harder to move on and recover,” explains clinical psychologist, Cortney Warren.
Or go one step further and unfriend or block anyone who makes you feel bad!
The conclusion: broken relationships are never easy, but during the holidays this can be especially hard. Try to treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend who is going through the same thing.
And never linger in the past: before you know it, it’s a new year – full of new possibilities and maybe even new love.