When you miss family
The bond some families have is so strong it can stand the test of time and distance, but that does not mean you won't miss your family. In life there are all kinds of reasons we end up far away from family, from jobs, school, missions, etc. But the one thing in common for most people is that they eventually start to miss their family. No matter how exciting or new the place is, when you are away from family, even for a short time, you may miss them. The following are some tips for coping:
1. Journal. A fun way to stay connected and not miss out on what is going on with your family when you are separated is to keep a journal of events and thoughts. This is not like your personal journal, this is more like a record of your day, time, and big deal things. So, this way your family member can read it when they get back, and they won't feel like they missed anything. They won't need any catching up because you will have it all written down for them. An example entry may look like this:
Went to the zoo today, left late, of course, and when we got there it was freezing cold. Most of the animals were indoors, so it just looked like a bunch of empty enclosures. We still had fun though. Not many people were there, so we goofed off, sang silly songs, and rode the carousel.
2. Skype. When you have to be away from your family, it helps if you can talk to them and see them. A great way to do this without expensive flights, and long distance phone charges is to use Skype. It is a program for computer chat, that uses webcams to allow you to talk. It is free, easy to use, and makes for a fun way to see everyone while you talk and catch up.
3. Social networking. While this is not as personal, it does give you a decent sense of what is going on in people's lives, and allows you to see pictures, events, comments, etc. So, when you can't be with your family, you can still communicate (despite time differences), with notes on walls, instant messages, messages, photos, and the like through social networking sites.
4. Emails and letters. A good old fashioned letter is a wonderful way to communicate with family when you miss them. An email is great as well. Send a little note or update about yourself, ask them about them, and you don't have to feel so far away. People who were separated from those they love have communicated like this for years, so use it, it works!
5. Phone and text. Most everyone has cell phones, and text messaging, so use it. It can be hard to carry on a phone conversation with someone you haven't seen in a long time, but it is possible, so call to say hi, or tell them about your day, or send them a joke through text just to stay connected.