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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Fiddy

Missing family and friends and Staying Positive

I wrote this a year ago and felt that due to the times we are living in, it is still relevant today. Whether you are living in Munich or in your host country, for a short time or permanently, missing family and friends is one of the biggest triggers for homesickness.

I have been living in Munich for almost five years now, and while I love it here, I still have days where I miss the UK especially London. During those moments, I always knew I could hop on a plane and go back even for a weekend. With the current situation we find ourselves in, that situation, for the time being, is not available. I miss my family enormously and Christmas was particularly tough.

It is easy to dismiss and wave away positive thinking and gratitude, especially when you are feeling down and absolutely rubbish. I get it. Did you know that our brain does not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined? So when you tell yourself something, your mind and body believe you.

Our brains are naturally wired, to be anxious and to focus more strongly on the negative. Rewind back to the caveman days, we needed to be on the lookout for danger in order to survive. Living in a pandemic for so long and being surrounded by the news, it is natural to fall into a habit of negative thinking.

Ask yourself, are you only paying attention to the negative and excluding the rest? Are you looking for evidence that everything can go wrong?

While everything might seem awful, you might even feel it, which is represented by certain tensions in your body, there is positivity and hope out there. For instance, I miss my family and friends, however, I do live in a world with incredible technology, which means I can press a button and see and speak to them. While my mum is missing out on her grandchild growing up, she records a video of herself reading a story or singing a song, so my daughter can see and hear her (and Mama Fids, is actually getting very good at her vids too). Some days you have to grab those glimmers of light and beam them inside of you.

If you have fallen into an unhelpful thinking rabbit hole, one step you can take is starting a gratitude journal and writing down what you are grateful for each evening. Start small with one if that feels most comfortable and gradually expand to five.

It can feel like an effort at first, especially on a crappy day but long term this can support your mood and your mental health.

Think of positive thinking as a garden, you can scatter some seeds and watch an abundance of shoots blossom over time, or let the stinging nettles grow around you causing you pain.

You always have a choice.

Love to hear how you get on.

Sending lots of love to you,

Jo xx

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