10 tips for surviving a separation after Christmas

No matter what time of the year it is, the breakdown of a serious relationship is devastating. The holiday season, however, is especially difficult to get through, no matter whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of a breakup. There are a heightened number of breakups at this time of year, possibly because of the stresses that Christmas and New Years endow upon us. whether you’re preparing for a divorce or you’re newly single, here are our 10 top tips for making the New Year as stress-free as possible.

Visit friends and family


It’s easy to avoid everyone during the holidays and into the New Year when you’re feeling dejected, but this is the worst thing to do. Your friends and family will rally around you and offer you much-needed support at this time–don’t avoid them.

See mutual friends


If you and your ex-partner share friends, don’t avoid them. Give them the chance to see both of you separately if being together is impossible. They’ll want to support both of you.

Avoid too much alcohol


It’s tempting to drown your sorrows in wine after a breakup, but too much alcohol will make you feel worse. You won’t be thinking clearly, and this will only make existing tensions worse. Drink responsibly and avoid alcohol all together if possible.

Avoid confrontation


Stress levels are high at this time of year, and more alcohol than usual may make people say or do things they regret. Avoid individuals who may become antagonistic, and stay away from any situations where you or your children may be unsafe.

Support the children


Children are especially vulnerable after a breakup between parents. Ensure your children know that they are loved and that you are there to answer any questions they may have. Don’t be afraid to reach out for extra support if you need it.

Set out visiting arrangements


It’s in a child’s best interests to have a relationship with both parents unless this puts their safety at risk. If you and your partner can’t agree on informal visitation arrangements over the holidays, seek legal advice.

Child custody


If your children have been taken away from you, the holidays are especially distressing. Free child legal advice is often available on matters including child custody and child contact–your local court or family lawyer can give you more information.

Have a plan


The festive season gives you a chance to reflect on what you want and need from your ex-partner. Make plans to visit family lawyers such as ECFL to learn more about your rights and options. You can also inquire about legal aid.

Know what to say


Have an answer ready in case people ask what’s happened between you and your ex-partner. Don’t be afraid to politely decline “helpful” advice, and don’t answer questions you aren’t comfortable with.

Self care


It might not feel like it, but the pain you’re suffering will ease. Make time for the things you love, spend time with those who make you smile, and remember–you deserve to be happy and heal.

If you’re in the process of going through a separation or divorce you can find more information in our ebooks ‘Property Settlement: Know your rights when dividing property assets’ or ‘Separation and Divorce: Putting your children first’.


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