Article taken from our christmas magazine 2018
“Christmas season has already begun and Christmas Eve is pretty much around the corner”. (That’s how I started a previous article called ‘The Meaning of Christmas’)
Yet, for many of us it could be a difficult time because we are away from our home and family. We are away from our culture, our friends, our people, our language, our slang and our traditions. We could even sing Elvis’ ‘Blue Christmas’ substituting the word ‘you’ for the name of our country. So, what do we do now? We’ve got an emotional crisis going on, in a way sometimes related to what we know as Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). I remember my first semester in college. I moved from cozy warm Venezuela to cold snowy Buffalo, NY. It did affect me a lot! Last year I was also away from home and this Christmas I won’t be able to go back either. Therefore I understand what you may be feeling while being away from your home these holidays, but I also know how we can let this sadness not affect us. Hence, I’m going to share with you a few tips that can help you not only clear your mind, but also feel better and enjoy the wonderful meaning of Christmas wherever you are.
1 Christmas is about ‘love’ and ‘sharing’. Once you acknowledge that, you will start feeling the Christmas spirit all over, which will make you feel joyful and connect emotionally with those around you.
2 ‘Home’ is where your heart is. And if you are away from your home country, make the present country you are in your home. Love the place you are living in, embrace it and enjoy the beautiful details it has to offer. Once your heart is connected, your emotions will be positive.
3 Talk to your community. We are here to be your friend and also your family. Some of us are away from our home towns too, yet, we all enjoy the time together and help each other out to feel at ‘home’.
4 Don’t drink too much: Alcohol is a known depressant and it’s better to have a clear mind. Go for long walks, exercise, connect with the nature and start feeling fresh. With a clear mind everything is better.
5 When you feel sad and weak…pray! Prayer takes you to a moment of relaxation where you can connect with God and your inner self. May I suggest Psalm 62? I read it every time I’m feeling down and miss my beloved Venezuela.
Remember that the Christmas spirit is a connection with God that you carry in your heart, and as long as you are connected to Him you will carry happiness anywhere you go. Hard times may come some times, but God is with us through them all.
Nico Perez Rojas
“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9