It can be difficult to maintain healthy relationships with family, while living abroad. There is the whole issue of different time zones, frequency of communication, as well as dealing with bouts of homesickness. Katherine Barbara Montana provides us with some heart-warming tips to help re-integrate our loved ones in our lives on a daily basis.
In every household, the family dynamic that we each have with our loved ones can be different in their own beautiful, distinct way. Therefore, it’s difficult to say what defines a healthy relationship with one’s own family. It is even harder to say what constitutes a good relationship with your family while you’re living abroad.
At times, it can be pretty challenging to keep in touch while you’re living a separate life away from your family. Although we are constantly busy, it is important to keep in touch with our loved ones. So, I have come up with my own few pointers to help continue developing these relationships, as our lives progress and take us further away from home.
1. Call your family regularly
Wanting to talk to your family more often is completely normal, especially if you are living far away from them. It is easy to forget, that just a few months ago your parents likely knew everything about you because you were living under the same roof, and now you are miles and miles away. Calling your family every once in a while is completely healthy, and it is also a good way to get advice and opinions from the people who love you most!
2. Be updated about what’s going on at home
Fighting homesickness is sometimes very tough, but a good cure includes discovering what is happening with your family. So, when you take a moment to FaceTime/Skype or simply call, Ask them questions! How is your sibling finding school this year? What are your parents up to this weekend? But remember, while it’s great to tell your family about your adventures, always leave time to hear about theirs. And sometimes it is simply a great feeling to just see their faces or hear those familiar voices.
3. Surprise your family!
Handwritten letters, cards, and even little Amazon packages are a great way to encourage communication with your family. Surprising each other with even little things, such as sending mail through a postal service back and forth (also known as ‘snail mail’), can brighten up both you and a family member’s day.
Being at university, especially being at one that is thousands of miles from home, can at times seem very hard. However, keeping a bit of home with you, whether it be through cards, phone calls, or conversations, can ease senses of homesickness. Receiving a note from dad, or giving your brother a call can encourage healthy, strong family relationships while you are at your ‘home away from home’.
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