New Home Holiday Survival Guide

It’s certainly easy to say that the holiday season is probably my absolute favorite time of year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas and over to the New Year, there are the most wonderful moments that you are able to share with loved ones. My family and I have the BEST traditions (okay, my opinion is probably biased) and every year I look forward to them. And then all of a sudden, I’m all grown up, moved across the country and find myself experiencing the holidays in a whole new world (once again, I do understand that Boston is not a whole new world but it certainly feels like it sometimes compared to Utah.) I know that this is true for many individuals in their twenty-somethings and being away from family can make the holiday season seem a little less exciting. So, how does one fully enjoy this beautiful season, push away the crazy strong homesickness and embrace all the new experiences in a new place that isn’t the ‘home for the holidays’ that you are used to? Well, I might have a few ideas.

1. Allow yourself to be homesick.

Living approximately 2,500 miles away from my parents hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world and as Thanksgiving approached and now as we dive into the Christmas season, those miles seem to be getting longer and harder. In these moments, I’ve began to allow myself to be homesick. Maybe not dwell on it for hours but rather acknowledge the sad feeling. Then I remember how blessed I am to have a family that I love so much enough to miss. Right after these moments, I call up my mom and the distance feels a little easier. So, go ahead and let yourself feel the feels. The Pixar movie Inside Out literally teaches you that it’s okay to be sad. So, feel it. Then if you need to call your family every day during these next few months, do it. And then tell them how much you love them because that’s what this season (and family) is all about.

2. Keep the traditions going.

My favorite parts of December are all of the traditions that I have had with my family since I was a little girl. Moments like decorating the Christmas tree while listening to music, reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve by the tree and so many other traditions are some of my most beautiful and special moments that I have been blessed to share with my family. Now that I’m starting my own adult life, I certainly don’t plan on stopping these traditions because of how important they are to me. I’m still going to carry on the traditions that my family has always had along with starting new traditions here in Boston. This time of life is all about making the life that we have always imagined for ourselves growing up and that includes carrying on traditions and making new ones! My life is going to be filled with joy and I hope you are also able to keep traditions that you hold near and dear to your heart as alive as ever.

3. Find new holiday experiences in your new city. 

So far, I’m finding that nothing is going to be the same as your dad’s stuffing at Thanksgiving (Shout out to my dad for the BEST STUFFING EVER) but there are so many experiences to be had! For instance, in Salt Lake City I did not have the opportunity to go to the Boston Opera House and watch the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker. Here, I get to do that and I am so excited! New memories in new places are exciting and once you are able to embrace it, everything is brighter and filled with joy!

4. Surround yourself with loved ones.

Loved ones come in different shapes and sizes… co-workers, relatives, your significant other and their family, and friends (even the people you share an hour sweating together during barre class). Reach out! Whatever this looks like to you, do it. If you have distant relatives close by, maybe now is the time to catch up over some dinner. Those new friends you’ve made through work? Now is the time to set up an ugly sweater party, drink hot cocoa, and play board games with them. (Just gave myself an idea while typing this out… *self high five*) The point I’m getting at is community is everything in a new home. So, step a little out of your comfort zone during this season and see what happens.

5. Continue to practice self-care.

During the holidays, you can easily feel overwhelmed with commitments with other people, prepping for Christmas, and just extra hustle bustle that comes with this time of year. Don’t let your self-care habits down now! Now is the most important time to have a movie night by yourself, take a bath and go to sleep early. The more you are able to practice self-love and checking in with how you are doing physically, mentally and spiritually, the more you will be able to enjoy this wonderful season.

Just remember to enjoy the holiday season in whatever way makes your heart the happiest! After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year! (*cue the best song EVER*) So, continue onwards my friends with your head held high and joy in your hearts. Until next time (which will be soon because my break from blogging is over! WOO!)

Decluttering: a love hate relationship

When you look up moving advice on the internet, you see A TON OF ADVICE. I’m not even kidding you… apparently there’s are so many aspects of moving that I didn’t even think about before perusing the big wide interweb worlds. Looking up moving advice is like looking up your cold symptoms on WebMD. Stuffy nose, sore throat… all of a sudden, I’m convinced that I have some deadly disease caused by a rare insect in Lithuania. The other day, I googled “moving across the country advice” and man, was I in for a treat. From how to make sure your cat doesn’t freak out in the airport to how to label your boxes, Google has your back (although I’m pretty sure we already knew that.)

The advice that seemed to stay consistent from blogs to advice websites to ehow articles was that you MUST declutter your life to make a cross-country move easy. So, I took this to heart and said to myself “Minimalism is great. I can do this.” Now, don’t get me wrong. The concept of a minnimalist lifestyle is pretty great. A capsule wardrobe, living your life with intention, and so many other great enriching lifestyle changes. But I gotta be real here with you… It is not the lifestyle for me. NOT ONE BIT. After rummaging through and throwing out 5 big trash bags of clothes that I had in the basement from when I was twelve and beyond, I realized that I really needed to declutter. All those clothes? They’re in a pile ready to go to Deseret Industries.  Then I started on my room… *insert dramatic pause* I’M A HOARDER. I had pencil erasers from EIGHTH GRADE. EIGHTH GRADE WAS A LONG TIME AGO GUYS. LIKE A REALLY LONG TIME AGO. I had my old Motorola flip phone that I used in high school. Somehow I still felt an attachment to these random items like a headband that I hadn’t touched in 6 years. I found the most random stuff in my room that apparently upon my three separate moves to different houses in the area, not once did I think to DECLUTTER. And now, now I know. Now I trust the google monster who told me to declutter. After my realization of being a semi-functioning hoarder, I got down to business and after asking myself “Do I need this?”, a few hours later my whole room had only essentials and two larged trash bags filled to the max.

So, here’s my advice based on my personal experience if you’re looking to do some spring cleaning OR thinking about moving across the country on the fly. If you think for a second “Hm, should I keep this… I really could use this…” and it’s an item that’s been buried under your bed in a box within a box, throw it right in that trash bag. Now, if it has sentimental value but is just a picture or something and it’s not THAT important (ie not family heirlooms and what not) take a picture of it for digital records and then throw it out. Seriously though, my only piece of advice is that if you have to look at the item and try to recall why you still have it, you don’t need it. If it’s clothing that you haven’t worn in at least one year, don’t even think about keeping it. You don’t like it anymore and you don’t need it (the exception to this rule is nice fancy dresses that you would wear if you had somewhere to wear it). And… that’s it, I think. The rest of the items, you’ll know if you need it or not. I would definitely recommed keeping imporant things like basic life stuff… because I guess that’s important or something.

And with that, I must get back to packing. Our U-haul box thing is going to be here in t-minus 9 days and I have three boxes packed. Although due to my excessive decluttering process, I think there’s only a few boxes left to pack. *Self high five*

with loves, nicole