Not Going Home For The Holidays?
Whether you're not able to head home for the holiday season because of financial constraints, work commitments, or because you'll be spending the time with your significant other's family, a mixture of reactions can be stirred up. It's important to acknowledge any feelings you may be experiencing not only as you inform your loved ones of your plans, but also as you yourself start accepting the reality that you will be celebrating in a different way and perhaps in a different location.
Acknowledging your feelings is essential, but communicating these feelings is also critical. The holidays can be stressful, and tensions may be high, so it is important to be upfront and communicate what you are feeling to those closest to you in order to avoid unnecessary conflict and misdirected emotions.
If this is the first time or the tenth time that you will not be heading home for the holidays, the below tips and suggestions may be helpful as you begin your own, brand new holiday customs:
- Plan an "alternate" holiday for you and your loved ones. Sometimes, it can be just as exciting knowing you will still be able to participate in the family fun, just maybe not on the specific holiday.
- Perhaps you can recreate in your home what you would be doing with your family. Reinvent some of those memories in your own home, perhaps with your significant other, your roommate, or even a pet!
- Even if you can't physically be with your loved ones, technology can come in handy. Try using Skype, FaceTime, or other social media. Sometimes just hearing familiar voices and sounds can make you feel as if you were there with family.
- Maybe it's too painful to reminisce with those you can't be with. If this is the case, try distracting yourself during high levels of holiday festivities that may fuel homesickness or heartache. Perhaps that means making plans with friends in the area, taking up a new hobby you have wanted to try, or even attending a show or concert.
- Try volunteering! Helping those less fortunate than yourself not only can provide a distraction, but can help you identify with something bigger than yourself.