As we round out the year, I know I’m not the only one who’s caught the winter blues. Seasonal depression also known as seasonal affective disorder which often include sleepiness, anxiety, poor appetite, and lack of motivation.
Working in Family Law, I often see these amplified “side effects” in my clients who are going through a hard custody battle or a long-drawn-out divorce this time of year. The holidays are hard; hard in the fact that you are probably just working out a new schedule of who gets to see the kids when. You’re probably starting to feel that sadness creep in of potentially not getting to see your littles face Christmas morning when Santa comes, maybe you’ve felt the winter blues for a while now and it’s just following you around. You may not like your ex, but that is your children’s other parent. As in all things Family Law, what is in the best interest of your child? Is it seeing both parents and getting to see the magic of Christmas at both houses or maybe even seeing their parents together for the holidays and co-parenting effectively. It’s most certainly not seeing their parents argue or feeling the tension of who gets them Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.
Let’s figure out how to change those winter blues and create a fresh and positive mindset going into 2023.
The first thing that needs to be done is changing the way you think, which is easier said than done. If you can remember what is best for your child and not what is best for revenge or you, then you’re already on the right track. Trying to think about what is best for the kids is always the best route. Don’t sink into that seasonal depression mindset or it will never get better. Remember, it will get better; you just need to get through the hurdles of your sometimes nasty divorce or fighting for time with them. Children are more resilient and resistant than we think. Get them to a place where you can co-parent effectively and share the time and memories with them and with the other parent.
Once we change our mindset, we need to work on ourselves. Getting through that seasonal depression is tough, but maybe take a walk in the fresh air? Let some sunshine in the house, do some self-care and tell ourselves that we are doing the best for our children. As the season changes from winter to spring, it’s a time to remind ourselves to shed the negative thoughts and the struggles/hardships of our custody battles and welcome growth and change.
Changing your mindset on your divorce or custody disagreements starts with you and positive changes that you can create. Maybe we meet our co-parent at the table to have a meaningful discussion, maybe we try court-mediation or maybe we try coming together for the kids and their mental health.
Obviously, some co-parent better than others and maybe your spouse can’t get past the negatives to create that healthy environment for your children. But that does not mean that you can’t change and move forward with a calm and loving mind frame. Remember you will not be in this battle always; your children will not be little always. Stay present in the moment and work on the positives.
Take a walk, talk it out, increase the sunshine in your life and always remember there is light at the end of the tunnel.