A survival guide for spending the holidays away from family and friends

A survival guide for spending the holidays away from family and friends

As the lyrics in the classic Christmas song tell us, “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” Yet, sometimes, work and other obligations take us away from our loved ones. If you are stuck on the road this Christmas, it’s important to have a chase-the-blues-away plan. Here are a few tips on how to meet this seasonal challenge with a big smile on your face.


Technology is Your Friend
With state-of-the-art communication technologies at your fingertips, it’s easy to get face time with loved ones even if you’re thousands of miles away. Make sure you set up regular tim Skype chats or use similar online tools so that you can check in, get excited about holiday activities, and perhaps even sing a song or two together. You could even watch them unwrap presents in real time. One of the most important parts of the holidays is the act of sharing with loved ones—that doesn’t mean you physically have to be together!

Lend a Helping Hand
When you’re far from home, why not get into the holiday spirit by volunteering at a local homeless shelter or favourite charity organization. Helping those who are less fortunate is the best way to put some real meaning into the season. You’ll also make new friends. They might even invite you to share their holiday dinner with them.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
A perk of the holiday season is having time away from the office. Break your nine-to-five routine and enjoy some of the more unusual activities you normally don’t have time for. Many online services offer sweet discounts on white-water rafting, bungee jumping or zip-line excursions. Just think of all the stories you can share about the year Santa made you jump out of an airplane.

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Make Someone Happy
If you’re staying at a hotel or company apartment, it’s easy to chill in your favourite pajamas, watch reruns on TV and feel nostalgic about past holidays. But it’s also important to step outside of yourself and get in touch with the world around you. Go ahead, talk to strangers about their life story. Be friendly and extra kind to those around you. Maybe the barista at the neighborhood coffee bar also has to work during the holidays and could really use a generous tip in this tough economic climate. After all, making others happy is the best way to chase your own blues away.

Sometimes being away from home can’t be avoided and it’s pointless to mope about it. Stay in touch with loved ones, open yourself up to giving and share goodwill with those around you. Before you know it, you’ll get swept along by the happy holiday spirit.

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