How to Cope with Distance from Your Family

Whether you’re moving to an out-of-state university, or seeking more opportunities for your life, distance away from your family gets tough. Some people don’t expect to get lonely, because of how excited they are for a new adventure, but then reality hits them while they’re 700 miles away.


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    Realize you will get lonely. It’s inevitable that you will become lonely when none of your family members are within hours of you. It’s okay to feel that way! Don't hide from this feeling, but try to channel it into two areas: staying in touch with them in meaningful ways, and connecting with the people and activities around you.
    • Let yourself feel any emotion you may be feeling. Your emotions will be very confusing; some days you could be sad, mad, or just depressed. Allow yourself to feel that way, but then start the next day off new. It’ll be hard, but it’s a whole new world to explore!
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    Keep pictures of your family in any place you can. Keep an album of favorite pictures on your phone or tablet, so you can browse through them any time (and share them with your family members, too!). You can keep them on your phone lock screen, wallet, purse, desk, or the walls in your room. It’ll feel like they’re right there with you (almost).
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    Call your family! You will find out that you’ll end up being the one being worried if your mom doesn’t answer the first time you call. Call once a day, if you want to, so you can catch up.
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    Use technology to your advantage. The options we have to stay connected these days are plentiful; if you don't have time for a phone call, try texting, emailing sending a picture message, or Snapchatting. If you want to see them when you call, try Skyping or FaceTiming.
    • If you're trying to stay connected with many family members at once, consider starting a blog. It's a little less personal than one-on-one emails or calls, but you can share your news there, set the blog to private (if desired), and still get comments from them about what you're up to.
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    Be creative and send letters. You can buy postcards or normal cards at a local store. You also can make them more heartfelt and write hand written letters. These will take longer to reach their destination but can be really meaningful, and you can even throw in fun trinkets or items, a little like a scrapbook; send them a photo of you with a new friend, a stub of the ticket from the concert you just went to, or anything else that made you think of them.
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    Plan trips home. It’s always exciting counting down the days to visit family. Make it even better, and surprise them on Thanksgiving! Surprise them one weekend and watch their eyes fill with happy tears.
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    Enjoy this time you have alone. Take this time away from your family to find yourself. You don’t need to always dwell on the fact that your family is so far away. Make them proud, and do something new! Run, write, or learn an instrument. Connect with the people and activities around you; find a local community, get absorbed in hobbies you're passionate about, and make your life fulfilling. Then you can visit home and tell them all about it!

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Categories: Family Life