What to do when you know you won't be home for Christmas? "Perhaps the best way to cheer up during the holidays is to find other individuals who are also not going home. You can get together and have your very own celebration and have a dinner where everyone brings something typical of their hometown." Photograph: Pixabay.

Hi, 5 ways to survive the holidays while living abroad

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, or any other fancy happening, you will have some free time during the December holidays. Some people are fortunate enough to return home and visit their families, but others will be staying in Oulu, in some cases for the first time. If you are one of those who won’t be able to go home for the holidays, here are five ways to keep your spirits up during the festive season.

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Text Marcelo Goldmann

  1. Keep a routine

One way to keep your mind off the downer of not going home for the holidays is to keep your schedule as regular as possible. We humans are creatures of routine, and we tend to feel the most comfortable when sticking to our routines. Do what you normally do and go on about your day as usual. Take showers, have lunch, meet some friends for coffee, go shopping.

 

  1. Treat yourself a bit

And on the matter of shopping: nothing raises your spirits quite like getting something you like. Maybe you crave a new pair of shoes, or that game you have been meaning to play all year, perhaps some sports gear, or even just a nice dinner outside. Treating yourself will not only make you feel good, but will also provide you with a mini-adventure. The whole process of going somewhere to get something you want will motivate you and the payoff of finally obtaining it will be very satisfying. If you are like me and prefer online shopping, you can still have fun window-shopping as you try to find what you want.

 

  1. Start a project

Now that you will have some free time, you will have the chance to use that time in anything you like, and keeping your brain productive is a good way to keep your mood up. Start going to the gym, take up an instrument, build a model airplane, make a painting, catch up on all those series that you like. If you keep yourself occupied and more importantly, entertained, you will feel great and energized.

 

  1. Get together with others

Perhaps the best way to cheer up during the holidays is to find other individuals who are also not going home. You can get together and have your very own celebration and have a dinner where everyone brings something typical of their hometown. I find this method to be the most effective. Having not returned to my hometown for years, I can say that getting together with friends and having a nice dinner and laughter has always made me feel better about staying abroad for the holidays.

 

  1. Travel somewhere close

If all else fails, you can always travel somewhere closer (and cheaper) than your hometown and having a grand old time. At the very least you’ll not be confined to your apartment and you’ll get to know a new place or revisit a place that you already like. It doesn’t even have to be another country, you could travel inside Finland. Adventure could be waiting for you around the corner.

Published 18.12.2017

Marcelo Goldmann

A doctoral student in chemical engineering at the University of Oulu. "Life is like a rubber duck, you gotta keep it afloat to see its splendor." Instagram: @sekultamies

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