living abroad

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.

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?

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 that 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?

These are my favorites:

  • 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.
  • 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.

You want to read all 14 suggestions? Find the full list right here.

And 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’’.

I wish you a peaceful, stress-free, and joyful holiday!

Rachel Smets

TEDx Speaker, Author, Culture Trainer at Rachel Smets at Rachel Smets Coaching
To help expats anywhere in the world, I wrote the book 'Living Abroad Successfully: What, When, Where, How', an Amazon's Bestseller.Also, author of 'Awaken Your Confidence: 15 People share their Journey to Success'.
As an expat myself, I have been living and working in various countries, speak 6 languages, and experienced many challenges that I learned to turn around into new opportunities.
Workshops in cultural diversity and keynote speaking is what I enjoy doing.
I love to inspire people and help them to become their best selves! Life changes, and so can you!