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Coping with Homesickness During the Holiday Season

Posted on: December 24, 2019

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Homesickness is very common and the holiday season can intensify those feelings. You may feel sad, tired, and isolated. It can be hard to look forward to your day if you are missing your loved ones. How can you combat feeling homesick? Recognize that many people experience homesickness and understand that you are not alone, so stop being so hard on yourself and take some action to help yourself feel better.

Keep in touch with family and friends with FaceTime calls or Skype. Check out social media, see what is going on at home and share your experiences. However, avoid the social media trap of feeling left out; it's easy to spend too much time on these platforms and may make you miss home more. Instead, create your own album, chronicle the new adventures you have been on and friends that you have met along the way. Reflect on all the new opportunities and experiences you have had.

As the holidays near, spend time shopping for family and friends that are back home. Send them items to commemorate the places you have traveled, this will help you share your adventures with your loved ones and make you feel connected.

Be sure to maintain a balance of communicating with friends and family and connecting with the people around you. Try to meet new people in the facility where you are working; seek out people who may also be traveling. Be friendly and positive with everyone you meet. People are drawn to a big smile! Avoid spending time alone, instead, arrange dinner, meet up for after work socials, or organize day trips with other travelers. Participate in company sponsored events or invite your coworkers to participate in holiday party or gift exchange. Consider joining a local adventure club, take classes at the gym, participate cooking class or book club at the library, or see what the craft store has for adult activities or holiday crafts that can be inexpensive gifts to send back home.

If you are spending the holiday alone, remember to attend religious services; consider volunteering at a homeless shelter or distribute gifts at the local hospital. Help spread the joy of the season with those who are less fortunate.

Plan ahead for your next travel adventure, bring some reminders from home, create a checklist for all the activities that you want to do while on assignment, and arrange for friends or family to meet up with your during your trip. Pick locations where you have a connection. Reach out to college classmates in the area or childhood friends who have relocated to the area. Reconnect with relatives so you have family to celebrate with while you are away. Better yet, plan a travel assignment with a friend.

Traveling alone can be lonely, but remember it is temporary!

Allison Stringer, MS, PT, FAAOMPT, CHA
About Allison Stringer, MS, PT, FAAOMPT, CHA

Allison Stringer, Physical Therapist, is the Clinic Director for Professional Physical Therapy in Salem, MA. Allison received her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from Simmons College in 1993. In 2000, she achieved the status of a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists after completed the Institute of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy. Allison continues to treat patients and specializes in manual Physical Therapy for patients with orthopedic injuries to the spine and extremities, sports medicine, and wide range of Women’s Health issues including incontinence.