I still remember the first holiday season I spent away from my parents. I didn't see them from before Thanksgiving until after New Year's, and it devastated me. Even being with the Better Half and the in-laws to-be in a warm, loving environment didn't completely tamp my feelings of homesickness. For those of you away from your immediately family this year, here are 8 ways to cure homesickness this holiday season – and I really hope they help.
The internet can be a serious blessing when it comes to staying in touch with your family during special occasions. Skype and other programs like it allow you to talk to your family and see them, which can really help. Trust me, if you don't have a built-in webcam or something, it's worth it to buy an inexpensive one and a little microphone headset. It's almost like you're there, and anytime you get lonely, all you have to do is log on.
Maybe it's old fashioned, but the phone is still a worthwhile means of communication. Sometimes, all you need is to hear the voices of the people you miss the most. Personally, I like phone headsets for this reason: you can stay on the phone as long as you want and carry your family around with you if you need to. And yes, I am guilty of doing this.
Helping other people have a happy holiday can be so rewarding that it makes you feel better too. Volunteering at a soup kitchen, taking meals to the elderly, or gathering toys for children are all great ways to spend your time during the holidays anyway. When you are feeling homesick, helping them can dampen your feelings of homesickness because you're doing something so worthwhile.
Making sure to keep up with the traditions you remember best can help temper your feelings of homesickness. Even if it's something small, like decorating the tree in silver and blue, or making a particular kind of cookies, keeping those memories alive will definitely help. However--
This might seem contradictory, but it's not. New traditions can mix with old traditions. By beginning to make new traditions, whether it's on your own or with the person you are now living with, you are creating something to look forward to each year. They can exist right alongside your old traditions and create something really beautiful and brand new.
Don't be alone during the holidays. Celebrate with the people you love, even if they are new friends. That will give you something to focus on besides missing your family, and distraction is sometimes the best medicine for homesickness.
When you move to a new place, there are lots of things to do, especially around the holidays. This is in line with distracting yourself. You might go to an ice festival or a tree lighting ceremony, or you might see a holiday play. Either way, this can also go in line with creating new traditions, and it will help keep your mind off feeling homesickness.
Whether you create a new family out of your significant other's family, a roommate's family, or other friends who are away from home during the holidays, you can mimic the warmth and love that you feel with your family. Plus, if you bring in holiday stragglers who feel like you, then you can help them get over their feelings of homesickness too.
I sometimes still get homesick, although we alternate holidays with my parents. Who do you spend the holidays with? What do you do when you miss your family?
Top Photo Credit: Migo Studio
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