How to Deal with an Emotional Move During Christmas or Other Holidays

Couple drinking wine and wearing santa hats in a room with packed moving boxes
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After a move, whether you’ve lived in your new home for a few months or a few weeks before the holidays, you’ll still miss familiar surroundings. Most of all, you’ll miss family and friends and group celebrations. It’s not easy being far away from those you love, even if it’s just a state away. It’s difficult, and sometimes even more difficult for those who move even further afield.

If you find yourself away from those you love at holiday time, there are some things you can do to help get through the emotional distance and loss you’re experiencing.

Here are just some suggestions to help you deal with the distance.

Keep familiar things around you

Objects that remind you of home and what home means to you will help you feel more at home. For instance, if you have some objects, like holiday ornaments that are family keepsakes, use them to decorate your new home to make your new house feel like home. Some people may find this remembering difficult; if you do, then you may want to start your own traditions by possibly incorporating some of the local ways of celebrating.

Invite people over

Being in a new city, state or new country means that there are probably other people around who are also new to the area. Throw wan "orphan" dinner party; with orphan meaning that each attendee is away from family and friends. Offer each guest the opportunity to bring a friend, spouse, and their children. It’s pretty amazing to see how many other people are like you, and before you know it, you’ll have created your own family with whom you can always share holidays.

Get out of the house

It’s pretty easy to feel sorry for yourself, staying inside the entire time, afraid that if you do go out, everyone who passes you by knows that you’re alone, pity in their eyes. Well, as much as that’s how it might feel, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Get outside. Go for a morning coffee or a walk along the waterfront or through a local park- get to know your new neighborhood.

Maybe see a movie or have lunch or dinner in a favorite restaurant. If you're invited to a holiday party, go. It'll help get you out of your skin for a while. And all of us can always use a bit of that.

Make lots of phone calls

Reach out to people you know locally, and all your friends and family who are far away. Buy presents. Wrap them fondly. Mail them off with lots of love and know that you’ll be missed. Let people know that you’re feeling lonely; it’s okay.

Rent sentimental movies

If you like the warmth that nostalgia indulgence brings, then rent some favorite movies, make some favorite snacks and let yourself feel what you’re feeling. If you aren’t the kind of person who enjoys nostalgia, rent some movies that will let you escape completely; escaping is fine. Each of us has our own way of dealing with difficult times.

Play music that makes you feel good

Music is also an emotional memory transporter, taking us back to a favorite time and place.

Go off the diet

As with every holiday, allow yourself to indulge a bit. Buy your favorite foods, and try to share them with others. If you’re in another country, and can’t find favorite items, ask friends or family members to ship you a care package.

Nothing says home like comforting food.

Check out your community

Every community celebrates the holidays differently. Make up a list of all the activities you’d like to do, find out where you can do them and when, then set out to discover your neighborhood. Or, check out the local newspaper or community bulletin board to see how people are celebrating, then make a date to go to at least two events. It’s a great way to begin feeling at home in your new space, while giving you a chance to meet new people.