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Weekly Doses of Pop-up Psych

We all make cringey mistakes and deserve to move on, rather than feel confused or regretful after an icky social situation. Each week, I will dissect a murky social, life cycle, or pop culture topic to help you understand, learn, and move on. As a former academic, I am a super-picky consumer of research (and you should be too) as well as the content I create and share, so those new solutions, data and/or additional resources have certainly met my approval.

Coping with Holidays Separated from Your Children: Six Tips

The holiday season is here and everywhere we look, there are ads for families caught up in laughter and bliss. Aside from the commercials, our social media connections highlight their families’ warm, beautiful, and cozy holiday moments.  Although it’s awesome that families are fortunate enough to embrace those moments, only some can relate.


Regardless of the reason as well as if they are little kids, big kids, or adult kids, it’s a kick in the stomach, followed by a heavy heart of emotional nausea


The first holiday without them is certainly the worst, but every year does get a bit better.  Rather than dread the days or entire season, make it yours.


Cope with being separated from your children during the holidays by owning your feelings


Realize that whatever you are feeling is okay.  In order to heal, you have to feel.  Your emotions might range from bleak to okay to happy and then keep sliding and swirling around together making it gray and confusing. Blocking or numbing those harder emotions won’t help because they will only manifest through physical symptoms.


Cope with being separated from your children during the holidays by not sharing your angst with them


Your kids might not have any control over where they spend their holidays.  Find an outlet for those murky emotions; anybody but your kids. Even if they are adults, it’s not their responsibility to take care of you. They deserve to enjoy their holiday without worrying about you. 


Cope with being separated from your children during the holidays by cherishing the days your have with them


Whenever it is, it is. Rather than getting caught up on “the day”, create a meaningful celebration when you can.  There is no rule that says we can’t pick our own day to celebrate a holiday, like Christmas in July.


Cope with being separated from your children during the holidays by making the most of the days without them


My dad always says that distraction is the best medicine. Create experiences filled with everything that makes you happy: people, food, places, or activities. Douse yourself in love and self care. Being in a different place, like a vacation, is also a soothing balm to those rough emotions.

Cope with being separated from your children during the holidays by protecting yourself from triggers

It’s a vulnerable time of year, so it’s crucial that you create boundaries from anything that might trigger you. This could include social media, interacting with certain people,  locations, etc. If you must choose between people-pleasing and self care, I hope you choose yourself.

Cope with being separated from your children during the holidays by serving others

Doing something nice for other people is one of the best cures for that heavy emotional nausea. Something little, like a few extra dollars in a tip jar or being an extra set of hands,can go a long way (just don’t virtue signal). Here is a list of volunteer opportunities to participate during the holiday season to find in your community. 


Now What?


What do you need to do to protect yourself and create a meaningful holiday for yourself if you are separated from your kids? How can you help other people who might be coping with being separated from their kids during the holidays?

Hi Beautiful Readers and thank you for reading this! I'm Dr. Joanne Broder, Media Psychologist, Author, and Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Please consider me to help you write your memoir, blogs, speeches, e-books, as well as coach you on your dissertation or thesis.  Click here so we can connect!

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