Happy Holidays from Maine!
I hope you all are surviving the winter so far. If anyone is from a colder region, you know exactly why I use the word "surviving." While the snow can be beautiful, lets be real. It's freezing!! Anyhow, speaking of surviving, not all of us have it easy around the Holidays. For some of us, the Holidays can be somewhat lonely and maybe even a bit sad. Whether you are a military family (like myself), a college student, just relocated due to a job, or whatever the case, being away from family and friends can be very difficult. The Holidays are supposed to be spent celebrating with loved ones. If you are like me, this is not an option due to distance. Don't worry though, you are not alone! After experiencing a few Holidays away from home, I have thought of some tips and advice on how to survive the Holidays if you are missing home. Long distance is lonely during the Holidays, but it doesn't have to be miserable!
Please keep in mind that these tips and advice come from my own personal experience. I do not expect this advice to work for every single person's own experiences. But being a military wife, I know that there are others out there who could use some uplifting. So here we are :)
1. Stay active!!! (or start)
Lounging around at home all day is fine for those cold snowy days. But there is nothing better than a nice walk or small workout to keep your body and mind active. It doesn't have to be 5 mile run! Just get up and move a bit. Remember, if you are doing nothing your mind will start to wonder and then the depression can hit. Plus, exercising is good for you anyway, especially after all the Christmas cookies ;).
2. Make plans. Don't be afraid to make lots of them!
It goes without saying, the less you have scheduled the more bored you will become. The Holidays are a PERFECT time to be busy. Go to a party, go to the mall. Get out there and enjoy the beautiful lights and just have fun. Even if it is with yourself, going out will prevent "cabin fever." Going out and getting as much sunlight as possible will also help beat seasonal depression. You can search local events in your area, as I can almost guarantee there will be some sort of Holiday event going on in your town. Being bored= being lonely. Don't let that happen!
3. No one should be alone during the Holidays.
Not just Christmas, but any Holiday. This is similar to number 2, but if someone invites you to be with them on a Holiday, please consider saying yes! Even if you don't know the person that well, company is better than no company on Christmas. It only makes it harder on family and friends back home if they think you will be all alone during the Holidays. When my husband worked last Christmas, I went to an acquaintance's house and ended up having a delicious meal and a good time. While I didn't know the person that well, it still definitely beat being all alone! And now we are even better friends. Don't let yourself or someone you know be alone!
4. Stay connected.
Skype, FaceTime, text, or call. Okay, so I know this is an obvious one, but you would be surprised at how many people forget this one. When you are feeling lonely pick up the phone! it's amazing how connected we can still be when so far away. Technology is amazing. Whether it's four hours or just four minutes, give your friends and family a call. While it's not the same as actually being home, you would be amazed at how much better you will feel after talking or FaceTime. Don't allow yourself to feel alone and disconnected!
5. Start your own traditions.
Missing your family's Holiday traditions? Then go ahead and start your own. This can not only be a fun distraction if you miss home, but also will give you something to look forward to every year.
6. Talk to others who are going through the same thing.
If there is one thing I have learned being a military wife, is that it helps to talk to others who understand what you are feeling and going through. If you are new to an area, talking to others is especially important. Chances are, SOMEONE around you understands your feelings. This is a good way to make friends too!
7. It's OK to cry.
Let's be real. Being homesick is awful. Being far away from home during the Holidays is extra awful. There will be days when you are depressed. There will be days when you want to just cry. And thats OK. We are only human. Bad days are bad to happen. So if needed, go ahead and have a good cry. Get out that glass of wine or tub of ice cream. Just as long as you have support and can pick yourself back up. Remember, your friends and family back home are just a phone call away!
8. Make the best of it.
At the end of the day, there is only so much that you can control. Just try to make the best of your situation. It may take time, but you will get used to be away from home. You will learn to adjust I promise! it might just take time.
Wherever you are and whatever your situation is, I hope you can enjoy the Holidays this year (and every year). I hope some of these tips/advice helped or inspired you in some way. Hang in there. Even if you feel alone, you are not :)
Until next time,