Sharing is caring!

(S1E7) Balancing holidays and self-care when living abroad

An emotional dance between festivities and distance

Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsAmazon MusicPodcast IndexTuneInPodcast AddictCastroDeezerPodchaserPocketCastsListen NotesGoodpods

Is the festive season having an impact on your mental health? Work with me

The experience of celebrating holidays while residing in a foreign country can be an intricate emotional journey. For us who moved abroad, the festive season often brings a complex blend of emotions, ranging from excitement and anticipation to longing and homesickness. It’s a delicate dance of meeting expectations, establishing boundaries, and maintaining connections with loved ones back home. In the latest episode of the podcast, I delve deep into these emotions, discussing the challenges and sharing valuable insights and advice to help navigate these festive times.

Being an expat for almost two decades has taught me the importance of managing expectations and setting boundaries with my loved ones. Establishing clear lines of communication and making sure everyone is on the same page about holiday plans can greatly reduce the stress that often accompanies these festive times. There’s a balance to be struck between maintaining connections with our roots and embracing our new life overseas. This often involves making difficult decisions about where and how to spend our holidays.

The need for connection is often intensified during the festive season. Sometimes, this connection is found within our host country, spending time with friends and taking part in local traditions. Other times, the pull towards our home country and familiar traditions is stronger. Understanding and acknowledging these needs can play a significant role in making our holiday experience abroad more fulfilling.

If you are interested in reading more about holidays when living abroad, you may be interested in these posts:

→ We are here, too – on mental health abroad (SEASON 2)

→ A mental health perspective on holidays when living abroad

A note on guilt

One of the significant challenges expats face is the pressure to make decisions about holiday plans. The decision of where to spend the holidays often carries with it feelings of guilt and resentment. Whether it’s the guilt of not being able to be with family back home or the resentment of not being able to fully enjoy the festivities in the host country, these emotions can be overwhelming. However, it’s crucial to remember that our needs and desires are just as important. Establishing boundaries and managing expectations can greatly help in mitigating these feelings.

Amidst the chaos of festive planning and juggling expectations, the significance of self-care often gets overlooked. But having spent numerous festive seasons abroad, I’ve learned that prioritising my needs is vital for enjoying the holidays. Self-care goes beyond physical well-being; it also encompasses mental and emotional health. Ensuring we are rested, managing stress, and allowing ourselves to enjoy the festive season without the pressure of pleasing everyone is paramount to maintaining our well-being.

In conclusion, celebrating holidays when living abroad is a delicate balance of managing expectations, establishing boundaries, and prioritising self-care. By tuning into our needs, we can navigate the festive season with less stress and more enjoyment.

Read more about guilt when living abroad:

→ Understanding guilt in relation to our life abroad

→ S1E4: Why am I feeling so guilty?

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *