The first holiday season after a divorce can take an emotional toll on anyone. Now that you and your spouse are no longer together, how will you handle family gatherings and other holiday celebrations that you used to attend together? Will the kids have to attend two sets of festivities?

It all sounds daunting, but with careful planning and a positive attitude, you can make the upcoming holidays both joyous and meaningful. Divorce is not so much an end as a new beginning: you simply need to embrace the need to change.

Spend time with others

Although you may not feel up to being cheery around others, make the effort to connect with family and friends. If your ex has the kids on Christmas Day, go to someone else’s home to share their celebrations. You can also volunteer or join a support group for other divorced individuals, which can help you find fulfilling holiday options.

Create new holiday traditions

Do something different this season, so that the “ghost” of your married traditions doesn’t leave you feeling lonely. Go to a holiday performance of a live show or cinematic blockbuster, enjoy a multi-course meal at an excellent restaurant, or lean back and indulge in a Netflix marathon. Embrace the opportunity to create new traditions that you know you will enjoy.

Be cooperative with your ex

Plan for the kids to spend time with both of their parents. To minimize the stress of a newly split household, cooperate with your former spouse for the children’s sake. They deserve to enjoy a happy and cheerful holiday, so refrain from arguing with your ex over things that can be worked out amicably.

Make meaningful New Year’s resolutions

It’s a new you and a new year, so make resolutions that will enrich your life in the coming months. Join a book club, take out a membership to get in prime physical shape, sign up for night classes in a favorite subject- the sky’s the limit! Also be sure to count your blessings and be grateful for the positive things in your life.

Take it one holiday at a time

The transition from married to single life can make each holiday in the calendar seem like a series of emotional hurdles that must be overcome. Try not to let yourself get overwhelmed. Take one holiday at a time and plan carefully for each, so you will be kept busy with activities you enjoy.

If you are contemplating divorce at any time of the year, contact an experienced New York family law attorney. They will help you create a path to a brighter and better future by setting you up for as much success as possible both during the divorce process and afterwards.

Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, NY divorce and family law attorney offering free in-office consultations. If you are considering divorce, then it is important to get quality legal advice from a lawyer who has handled cases like yours before. Mr. Lutzky has over 33 years of relevant legal experience and can be reached at 718-514-6619. Visit his website at www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com.