December begins and that means the holiday season arrives. If you’re living abroad, spending Christmas away from your family and friends can be a difficult time. Are you wondering how you’ll survive this month? Great! I created this list and video for you so you can breeze through this season while being outside of your home country.
For some people, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and for others, that same word creates some form of anxiety with usually only one wish: skip December and jump to January straight away.
How are you feeling about the holiday season?
Thanksgiving and Black Friday are done, and Sinterklaas (typical for some European countries) is gone, we are right at the beginning of December, when people are asking ‘What are you doing for Christmas? Did you buy your presents yet? What will you cook? What are you wearing?’
When you’re away from family and friends, Christmas can feel less merry and joyful. Even if you’re usually okay with being on your own, this time of the year can be challenging.
But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be painful, there are many things you can do to make the holidays a little less lonely when you’re alone.
After 15 years of spending Christmas away from my family, I can honestly say that I have not felt lonely or sad once during that time of the year. Just in case you wonder, I do love my family a lot, but the reason I never struggle, is because I have tried and tested all of the things I’m about to share with you. All of these ideas are easy to do, so all there’s left is for you to pick one or more out and try it!
Sit back, relax and enjoy watching this video where I show you what you can do:
Have you enjoyed watching the video? Which idea did you like most?
Here’s a summary of the 14 things you can do to enjoy your Christmas season:
- Accept: remember this is your situation at the moment. You’re certainly not the only one living away from your family. Many others are jealous of you being abroad, so try appreciating your experience.
- Re-wire your brain: switch the connections from associating a sad feeling to reconnect to a cheerful emotion.
- Hiking or walking: appreciate a nice walk in a park or woods, just you and your thoughts enjoying nature.
- Read that book: take your favorite drink and snack to sit comfortably and a good mystery novel will make you forget time.
- Volunteer: get out and be of service to others. This will not only give you a sense of fulfilment but you’ll also be surrounded by people, other volunteers and staff. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, a shelter for homeless or an animal shelter.
- Social media: look out for events or post the question ‘what can I do with Christmas?’ You’ll notice you’re not the only one looking for ideas.
- Dating: if you’re single, there are plenty activities for singles around this period. Do some research online.
- Cook a nice meal while trying some local food.
- Invite people over to your house: create your own ‘’alternative family’’, ask neighbors, colleagues, expats in your area, …
- Go to the movies: movie theaters are open during the holidays and not too busy. The perfect time to pick a good seat, accompanied by your favorite popcorn and appreciate the entertainment.
- Pick up the phone: talk to others, this can be family or friends, but make sure it’s people that lift your spirit and not make you miss home. Be wise when you choose your tribe, so pick those you enjoy talking to.
- Pamper yourself: go to a spa or treat yourself to some luxury and cherish that time to spoil yourself.
- Travel: if you can afford it, then travel to a new city, a tropical beach or a sky resort. Exploring and discovering a new place will get you out of the traditional holiday mindset.
- If none of these things inspire you, then sleep through the day.
So, there you have it. If you’re alone for this holiday season, choose to make it a good one. Remember all the advantages of what it can bring you: a chance for some quality time to yourself, and a chance to get out, meet some new people and help those in need. Just pick something and ditch the word ‘’lonely’’.
You can watch it again here.
I wish you a peaceful, stress-free, and joyful holiday!
1- Comment below the video how you are spending your holidays.
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I look forward to staying in touch with you, and sharing more information about achieving success abroad.