Therapy Blog for Orem, Spanish Fork & South Jordan

Individual Therapy: How to Navigate the Holidays After a Breakup

How Individual Therapy Can Help You Navigate The Holiday Season After a Breakup

After a breakup, it can be hard to find joy in your normal holiday routine. Maybe you are recovering from a divorce and struggling to navigate co parenting during the Holiday season. Or maybe you broke up with your partner and you are dreading the questions and comments from family members at Christmas dinner. (Related article: Decreasing Holiday Season Stress).

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No matter your situation, getting through the holidays as a newly single person can be overwhelming. Today, you will read about ways that you can make this holiday season easier for you after a breakup. You will also learn how individual therapy can help, and how you can get started. 

Embracing New Experiences

After a break up, it can be a challenge to know where to go next. You are used to the routines, traditions, and habits that you and your partner shared. This is especially difficult during the holiday season. This time of year probably holds a lot of memories of you and your partner… both good and bad. Maybe you are struggling with missing your partner and the good times you had together during this time of year. Or maybe you are struggling to cope with some of the more painful memories of holidays past. (Related article: Holiday Heartbreak- Understanding the Pain and Moving Through It). 

Either way, embracing these new holiday feelings and experiences can seem impossible, especially if this is your first holiday apart. When it comes to coping with a break up, there will be some common challenges you might face that are heightened by the holidays. Let’s talk about these challenges and what you can do to create a positive experience this holiday season.

Try Something New

Establishing your own routines after a breakup is hard enough. Now add in the Holidays, and the memories of past traditions can be painful! As the weeks pass during this time of year, you might struggle to know how to even celebrate the Holidays now that you are on your own. And this isn’t surprising. You spent time establishing Holiday routines and traditions with your former partner and these are ways you are used to celebrating this time of year. 

But, the good news about routines and traditions is that you can always start fresh! One way to confront these holiday routines after a breakup is to find a way to make them your own. For example, maybe you and your partner had a routine where you had a Christmas movie night together. This year, you might decide to invite a few friends over to re-imagine the Christmas movie night experience and create new happy memories.

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Another way to navigate these old routines is to find entirely new traditions you can enjoy on your own this Holiday season. For example, maybe you find a cooking class and try out Christmas baking for the first time. Or maybe you find a volunteer opportunity in the community. Trying something completely new can create new memories and traditions that are all your own. 

Prepare for Questions

Holiday family gatherings can be exciting and joyful. But, after a break up, you might dread the family parties you used to love. The thought of seeing your family after a big break up can be nerve wracking. What will they say? Will they ask you questions about the breakup or your former partner? How will they react when you arrive? The normally joy-filled experience of the holiday season might feel very different this time around. (Related article: Navigating Complicated Family Relationships During the Holidays). 

If you are still hoping to spend time with extended family during this holiday season, it can be very helpful to prepare and practice your response to any unwelcome questions or comments you might receive about the breakup. Setting gentle but firm boundaries with family and friends can give you the space to heal after your breakup. And you can still enjoy the fun of a holiday family gathering!

Remember: It’s Okay To Say “No”

Maybe you don’t feel ready to face your family this holiday season. You might have guilt about not engaging with loved ones the way you did before the break up. But, it’s important to remember in a season where everything seems like it should be a “yes”, it’s perfectly okay to also say “no”. (Related article: Holiday Family Boundaries). You might not be ready to face your loved ones, even in the holiday season. Practicing self-compassion and allowing yourself to say no to some of the invitations and expectations this holiday season can help you recover from the stress of your breakup and give you time to regroup. 

Individual Therapy Can Help You Thrive This Holiday Season

If you are struggling with a breakup this holiday season, you don’t have to face this alone. Individual therapy can help you process your breakup and find joy in the holidays. Your therapist can also help you regain your confidence after a breakup and reestablish your own holiday routines and traditions. 

Ready to get started? Begin individual counseling in Orem, South Jordan, Spanish Fork, or via Telehealth. 

Written by Lauren Adkins

Utah Therapy


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