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Christmas 2020: Divorced, Separated or Co-parenting during Covid

View profile for Susan Howarth
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The ‘unprecedented’ year

As we head towards Christmas checking what we can and can’t do in our tiers and confirming our Christmas bubbles, we can’t help but look back at this strange and dark year.

Who could have predicted it? 2020 - the year of Brexit, Megxit, Black Lives Matter and of course, the global Covid-19 crisis.

It’s been a rough ride for everyone but the extreme measures taken to minimise the spread and fallout of Coronavirus have created particular stress and hardship for some couples and families.

At SH&Co., we’ve seen the direct impact of lockdown and isolation on relationships over the last 9 months, resulting in a significant increase in divorce figures and highlighting major issues such as mental health, parental alienation and coercive control.

It may have left many of us dreading Christmas.

 

The season of giving

But now, more than ever, we all need something to look forward to and everyone could benefit from embracing a bit of festive cheer.

Whether you’re divorced, separated or co-parenting this Christmas, or you’re juggling strained family relations, it’s time to cut each other (and ourselves) some slack.

To help you channel your inner Christmas Spirit and reduce tensions, we’ve put together a short list of tips:

  1. Be the bigger person - be flexible with arrangements and handovers, be respectful to others and put your children first – try to see Christmas through their eyes.

  2. Stay connected - we might not be able to socialise in person much this year, but don’t be a stranger. We live in a digital age and there’s no shortage of technology to help us keep in touch with our nearest and dearest - whether it’s a 5-minute phone call or a couple of eggnogs on a Zoom, it all lifts the spirits!

  3. Remember elderly relatives and neighbours – winter, and Christmas in particular, is always a particularly difficult time for older people feeling isolated and lonely, but this year it’s expected to be worse than ever – make an effort to reach out to those you know, or make a donation to Age Concern’s No one should have no one campaign.

  4. Don’t sweat the small stuff - try not to get pulled into petty arguments or bickering; focus on the good, kick back and go with the flow.

  5. Prioritise your own mental health and happiness - whether you’ll be without the kids at points or you just need to create a personal ‘time out’, take a breather and put yourself first - do something just for you, you’ll feel better for it!

Goodwill to all mankind

With no office parties, no visits to see Santa, no Christmas markets, no pantomimes and no knees up in the pubs, the festive season will certainly be different this year.

But it doesn’t need to be bad. We are all trying to make the best of our situations, focussing on the simpler things and trying to share the goodwill.

The future might still seem uncertain but right here and now, we can still enjoy the Christmas magic.

And with that final thought, everyone at SH&Co. wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year xxx.

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