Written By Kara Chapman
The holidays can be difficult for those going through a divorce or separation. You may experience sadness over the loss of family traditions or you may feel resentful that so much has changed. However, with change comes opportunity and there’s no better time than New Years to infuse yourself with fresh hope.
Taking time for self-reflection and to establish a healthy mindset is important. New Years resolutions are one way of doing both. Even if you are not going through a divorce, I hope that these resolution ideas are helpful to you as we move forward to a brand-new year.
- Resolve to Forgive
Forgiveness is truly a gift that you give to yourself even while granting it to someone else. It will free you from negativity and bitterness and will allow you to focus your energy on more important aspects of your life than nurturing a grudge. If you are struggling with forgiving your ex (or yourself), a therapist or counsellor can assist in helping you sort through your feelings.
- Resolve to Model Love for your Children
Modeling love is about more than telling your children “I love you” and giving them hugs and kisses. It’s about not bad-mouthing their other parent in front of them. It’s about not making them feel guilty if they have a good time with their other parent. And it’s about cooperating with their other parent when it comes to things like paying child support and granting reasonable requests for changes to the parenting schedule (i.e. switching a weekend to allow for a family function).
- Resolve to Look Forward
They say that hindsight is 20/20. After a separation, it is easy to look back and see all the signs that were missed along the way and to assign blame. However, doing so is counter-productive. You can spend so much time looking backwards that you miss what’s in front of you. Nothing we do today can change what we did yesterday so it is important to look forward and make plans for a happier future. This can include establishing a parenting plan on how you and your ex will make decisions for your children or sorting out the financial issues arising from your separation so that you can plan and budget accordingly.
- Resolve to Take Care of Yourself
It’s trite to say that you can’t pour from an empty cup but there is truth to the saying. If you are not taking care of yourself, it becomes that much harder to take care of others such as your children. Make a plan to nourish your body, mind, and soul, whatever that means to you. For some, this may mean a new diet and exercise regime, for others it may be reconnecting with an old friend or taking up a new hobby. Find what makes you feel happy and healthy and be sure to incorporate it into your life.
- Resolve to Take Care of Business
Separation and divorce raise issues of parenting, finances, and the division of assets. Leaving these issues unresolved allows them to continue to take up mental energy and prevents you from being able to move forward. Scheduling a consultation with a family lawyer is your first step in regaining control of your life and opening the next chapter.
From all of us Chapman McAlpine Law, we wish you a healthy and happy 2021.