Being Away from Your Family on the Holidays
Separation from family and friends during the holidays is difficult. Here are some things you can do to ease the loneliness.
At some point in our lives, we all experience the loneliness that comes with spending a holiday or special occasion away from family and loved ones. While nothing can fill the void of missing family members, there are a few things you can do to make the separation easier for all of you. Remember the separation is temporary and treat it as such. Eventually you will be reunited
If you are away from your family:
1. Try to keep as many family traditions as you can. Doing things as you normally would is comforting.
2. Invite neighboring families over to help you decorate or to share a holiday party.
3. Spend time volunteering. Working with those in need will help you fill the void and you could make some new friends.
4. Call your family, email or send a video card to loved ones.
5. Plan to spend the holiday with friends, coworkers or members of your religious group.
6. Journal your feelings. Share your journal with friends and family when you get home.
7. Take time each day to appreciate the traditions and customs of where ever you are. Share those traditions with your family back home.
8. Surround yourself with pictures of family and friends.
9. Write letters to those at home. Try to have something new and interesting to tell them every day.
10. Collect interesting objects from your location to send home for the holiday.
If your loved one is away for the holiday:
1. Turn the holiday into a game. Send a card or small gift a day for 10 days before the holiday and then one large gift to arrive on the special day.
2. Call your loved one first thing, on the holiday. Be the first person they talk to that day.
3. Create a centerpiece or wall hanging to send to the missing family member. It will remind them you are thinking about them.
4. Plan on celebrating the holiday twice. Once on the predefined day, and again when the person returns.
5. Spend time with close friends or extended family.
6. Create a video card and send it to the missing loved one.
7. Videotape the main holiday event and send it to the missing family member.
8. Put together a care package for missing family member. Include favorite foods, home comforts, photographs, drawings from children and a special note from each family member at home.
9. Tape record a message every day for a month, reminding the missing family member you miss them and detailing special things you will do upon their return.
10. Write down important recipes and holiday traditions. Send them to the person who is away with photos of the family performing these tasks.
Following these tips won’t bring your loved one home any sooner, but they can make the separation easier. You will bring a smile to your loved one’s face and remind them how much you love and miss them through this difficult time.