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How to survive Christmas as an expat mum

You want to give the kids the best Christmas they could ever imagine. But you’re also an expat and your family will somehow always be split. Between what you have here in the new place and the people you love far away.

There are many ways to stay in touch, but in those moments that matter it’s impossible not to grieve because the people you want by your side can’t be there.

On some level you know the kids will have a great Christmas either way. With presents, games, family and fun. But what about you? What about the mum that smiles with her heart so full of love, yet feels sad and disconnected. The woman with a tiny part of her heart breaking and no one else seems to hear it?

You are not alone in feeling this way and there are some quick ways to gain perspective and have a really loving Christmas. No matter where in the world you are. Here are some of the ways you can overcome it:

1) Love YOU!

Yes you love the kids, your partner and your family. You need to choose to love you too. Make this Christmas the one where you have nice little treats for yourself just as much as you make them happen for others!

2) Bridge the gap

Come up with a fun inventive way to let the people far away be part of your Christmas dinner or breakfast. With today’s technology there is not much that limits us from connecting.

3) Smile more

By just doing it more you start to feel happier. Neurologically it’s the quickest way to fool the brain and actually start enjoying yourself. It’s not a permanent fix, but it helps even if it feels a bit unnatural at the start.

4) Write it all down

Your own letter to Santa if you will. All your sadness, worries and whatever else are taking up time and space in the brain archive. Share parts of this letter if you like with your partner and family (but make sure it’s shared from a space and purpose of bringing you closer together!). When you’re done writing (and sharing if you prefer to do so) then destroy the letter in a way that suits you. Tear it up, burn it or crumple it into a little ball. This helps you leave those things behind you and make this Christmas matter in every way possible. Sometimes thoughts need to come out of the mind to be processed in order for us to move on.

Life is not always easy, but country borders or time zones does not limit a heart full of love.

Are you an expat or do your loved ones live interstate? How do you celebrate Christmas? 

This article was originally published via Mouths of Mums by Emmy Petersson