The content of each post is solely written by that contributor and only expresses the contributor's personal views. Each post does not represent the views of all the contributors or Women of Color Living Abroad as an organization. Each contributor is speaking from their own person experiences and/or perspective.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

5 Ways to Fight the Holiday Blues Living Abroad

'Tis the season to be jolly.  When the winter season comes, people are normally filled to the brim with holiday cheer, joy and excitement.  Most people can't wait to eat, drink and be merry with friends and family.  However, this time of year can be extremely difficult for people who are living overseas.  Expats who are far away from home tend to get lonely and depressed when the winter months set in.  Here are 5 ways for people living overseas to fight the holiday blues while in another country.

1.  Make sure to connect with people.  Meet up with your close circle of friends or go meet up with new friends.  There are normally many events going on during the holidays --- even in other countries.  Find out where the events are taking place, get dressed, get out and go have some fun with people.

2.  Make sure to enjoy your alone time.  Though spending time with others is fun, it's also important to spend time doing things you enjoy by yourself.  Spend time on your favorite indoor or outdoor hobbies.  Instead of feeling lonely and depressed, use your time to focus on being creative and/or active and developing yourself.  Some great winter activities include: Hiking, jogging, yoga, skiing/snowboarding, drawing, painting, sculpting, reading, writing, cooking, cleaning, organizing, etc.

3. Focus on new activities and be productive.  Use the winter months to your advantage.  Enroll in new classes, finish a project that you started, start a new project, or get involved with an organization or a book club.  There are countless options that will keep your spirits up.  Make sure you spend your time wisely.

4. Donate and Volunteer.  Instead of focusing on yourself and your depression, focus on others.  There are many organizations that need your help.  Spend your time by volunteering or by raising funds for a charity.  You could create a holiday event or attend an event that will donate toys, needed items or funds to a worthy cause.  Spend some time doing internet research to find out about groups and organizations in your area that are making a difference.  

5. Cook for others and remain in good company.  You are as good as the company you keep.  Make sure to surround yourself with positive and happy people.  Cooking is an essential part of life and survival.  Invite people over and cook for them.  Try new recipes and have deep discussions.  Play games and enjoy the food and the good company.  Going out to eat is nice, but staying indoors and enjoying a home-cooked meal with friends can be even nicer.

Living in a different country away from home can be extremely challenging.  Don't let the winter months pass you by without experiencing some joy.  Hibernating is cool, but make sure you get out and enjoy life a little also. ;)

Author: Eve Dennard (South Korea)

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm, this year i'll be in Morocco. I opted out of meeting some friends in Spain. However, like this article stated I have felt that lonely feeling. So I've informed my friends here that we will definitely be getting into some activities. Of course Morocco is a Muslim country but there is an ok size Christian population here. I've agreed to participate in a secret santa, Christmas dinner on the evening of and for new years I'll prpbably do something in my home. for those still feeling that loney itch, try decorating your home, making Christmas cards and giving them to friends. And of course wine makes everything better. Set out some snacks, wine, cheese and invite some friends over for good convo. Throw some Christmas music on and have a blast!

    BTW great post.