The approach of the holiday season can feel daunting for the newly divorced woman. I know this firsthand.
There are many helpful suggestions out there and one of the most important is establishing time for yourself every day. But I want to give some concrete tips on how to feel joyful on our own this holiday season.
I share this as a way to help rebuild self-confidence and strength, and find a surprising new sex appeal. Hopefully, following these tips will leave a long-lasting smirk that causes people to question what exactly is different about you.
1. Get a Brazilian wax.
Your first waxing experience may require you visiting an upscale establishment that serves lots of wine. Rest assured the outcome is worth it.
Waxing hurts, but it’s the kind of pain that reminds us how delicate and alive this area of our body is. After the sting wears off, we are left with a sexier-than-ever feel—as though we’re in on a secret that only the most worthy partner will discover. And maybe that partner is yourself. So go ahead and reap the rewards of sensuality. You deserve it.
2. Get a new hairstyle.
This may sound cliché given that a new look typically means a desired change in one’s life. Well, this is a change! Sometimes it takes a little pampering to be able to see that beautiful smile again.
And who cares if this kind of indulgence requires maintenance? We’ve been through a lot and we deserve it. I’m not suggesting we put ourselves in debt for a new makeover, but we can find ways to make this treat affordable. I dine out less often now and doing so shows me that I can cook, which is empowering. Truth is, we deserve to wake up every day and enjoy looking in the mirror.
3. Set a new goal or find a new hobby.
I emphasize the word new, because we need to find something separate from our old life. Something we look forward to that will bring joy, not dread or bitterness, and that we can do independently or with friends.
As an introvert, I needed something to harness my independence, yet give me a feeling of solidarity and acceptance. So at 40 years old, I started practicing yoga. It has become a mindful, calming and strength building time for me that I crave every day.
Another holiday tradition I started is volunteering. The first year I didn’t have my children on Thanksgiving, I felt like a piece of my soul was missing. I needed to do something other than have a pity party for one on my sofa. Volunteering has become a rewarding holiday experience. I help others, I help myself and I set a positive example for my children.
4. Get a tattoo.
The personal experience of selecting a meaningful symbol to permanently place on my body has been exhilarating. I chose a symbol that represented the moment I was in and where I desire to go. I chose a part of my body that represents feminism and strength (and is usually hidden by clothing).
I love the fact that I have the power to choose what goes on my body and with whom I choose to share it. To me, this is empowerment. I love explaining what this symbol means to me. And even better, I love how this decision would never have gained the approval of my ex—knowing this made me feel like somewhat of a rebel. Just a bonus!
5. Keep a journal.
This kind of writing may seem like a chore, but keeping small private notes of where you are along this journey serves a purpose. It allows us to see and feel the growth. We all flourish as a result of divorce—it’s inevitable. How can it not be?
At first, divorce can feel like someone cut off a body part, but eventually we’re searching for ideas on how to feel better, to improve ourselves, to become stronger and wiser. I reflect on my writings from years ago, and I’m amazed at the darkness I felt back then and the strength I now have that will never allow such misery back into my life.
As a single, working mom, my main focus this holiday is the health and happiness of my children. But I’m still creating the woman I want to be. And my journey as a woman who learned to pick up the pieces on my own, has taught me that my children can’t truly be happy if I’m not happy. They are far more aware and perceptive than we realize.
I want my daughters to recognize that they possess courage, confidence and self-worth. So this holiday season I plan to indulge—for my children and for myself.
Author: Kristin Devaney
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Mislav Marohnic/Flickr