Homesick for the Holidays? How to Beat the Holiday Blues.
I live about 4 hours away from my family. (3 hours if I drive fast. 2.5 hours if I drive really, really, dangerously fast). I work for a retail company and anyone who has worked in retail knows we don't get holidays. My company is off only for Easter and Christmas.
Sometimes, my schedule makes it difficult to rush home in time for Thanksgiving dinner. One thing I have always been envious of are friends being able to visit both sides of their family on holidays while I couldn't even visit one. My dude's family has always included me in their holiday meals and I'm grateful for that. I've lived away from my family for 9 years so I've learned a few things to keep me feeling connected to my family when I can't be home.
Bring a tradition with you. My family has a tradition of getting together for a Thanksgiving meal around lunchtime. My mom's family is huge, y'all. Like huge. There's tons of chaos and noise but... it's home. For dinner, my immediate family will usually cook a ham to break away from turkey and celebrate a smaller Thanksgiving meal. I've started to implement a ham dinner during my holiday to bring a little bit of home.
Start a new tradition. It's important to have something of your own. Heck, you made it. You're on your own. You're living your best life. Why not start something you always wanted? It could be anything from participating in the Turkey Trot to cooking up your own signature dish. My dude and I have taken over the tradition of cooking his grandfather's signature (and to-die-for, it's oh-so-good) dressing. Plus, me and my fur-baby Klondike take a picture together every year.
Make time to Facetime your family. Give your family a ring. Send them a text full of emojis if that's what you're into. Facetime them if you can. Sometimes, this might make you a little sad but hearing their voices and knowing that we're still slightly together (thanks technology!) during the day helps me.
Participate in Friendsgiving. Being around others is important. We are all in need of connection and community. Not to be all debbie downer but did you know the holidays have the highest suicide rates (womp womp)? It's important to surround yourself with friends and start traditions together. Take a dish that's close to your heart and share it with others. Pull out your comfy throws and your glasses of wine. Trust me, it's much better and more rewarding than sitting at home with a pint of ice cream.
Wishing you all a beautiful and gracious holiday season ahead!