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The stress of the holidays is enough to make anyone crazy, but if you're undergoing or considering a divorce, the holidays can be enough to make a person crash. Not only are there the complicated proceedings, paperwork, and navigation of the court system, emotions are running higher than at other times of the year. Divorce or pending separation during the holidays can leave both spouses feeling increased anxiety about the unsettled future. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, there are several things people undergoing a divorce can do to help overcome the increased stress of divorce during the holidays—the least of which is taking a deep breath and forgiving yourself the expectations of familial perfection.

One piece of advice, according to the Chronicle, is to create new family traditions. "Finding new and creative ways to celebrate and reminding yourself that you are making a fresh start for your family can remind you of the real reason you cherish these family moments in the first place." In the same vein, taking new family photos can be a visual reminder of the hopeful future in your divorce—and help to create new traditions as well. Pose for a holiday card without your soon-to-be ex, and display it proudly in place of an old photo that may bring forward negative emotions.

If you're parents, divorcing during the holidays can be even tougher. One important thing, according to the Washington Post, is to lay groundwork for how the holidays will work during initial conversations about divorce. Include who gets the kids on what night—and decide if you'll alternate years—in the original divorce proceedings. If you alternate spending the holiday with your child, it means that one of you always has the freedom to travel, for example. These conversations are best had before the holiday season is in full swing.

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