Major Tim Peakes made history this week – becoming the first ‘official’ British astronaut. He’s now happily floating around the International Space Station, conducting experiments and enjoying an incredible view of us all back here on Earth.
He, like many others, will spend Christmas in an unfamiliar environment – away from family and friends. Also like many others, Major Tim Peakes has temporarily relocated to work ‘abroad’ for six months – albeit a little further afield.
“Being away from family and friends is a testing time for anyone – particularly at this time of year,” says Rob Dolbear, managing director of relocation specialist HCR.
“The pull of the British Isles, family and friends is incredibly strong for many and the festive season has a habit of exaggerating that sense of loneliness we all feel when we’re away from those we love.
“As relocation specialists, we are all too aware of the need for our clients’ employees to stay in touch with family and friends at this time of year. Just like Tim Peakes, we’re sure employees working away will wake up on Christmas Day and head straight to Skype for an emotional chat with loved ones.
“Imagining your family somewhere else, celebrating without you, can be a depressing thought. But there are many of ways of keeping the doom and gloom at bay. It’s unlikely you’re working in isolation – even astronauts in space have colleagues around them. So why not get together for some festive cheer?
“Another sure-fire way of lifting the spirits is to surround yourself with a bit of tinsel, before tucking in to some traditional Christmas fare. Ask your family to send a package filled with treats – a few chocolates can provide a real ‘pick-me-up’ right when you need it most.
“During the big day, there’ll always be a good moment to call home – whatever timezone you happen to be in. It might be whilst they’re tucking in to a special Christmas breakfast or perhaps whilst Christmas lunch is in the oven. It’s a great way of getting involved in the festivities. Staying in touch is what counts.
“And then there are the Christmas films. What better way keep the doldrums at bay than to sit down with a drink and absorb yourself in the masterpieces that are ‘Elf’ or ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ – depending on your preferences.
“If all else fails, how about helping others? Wherever your temporary home happens to be, there’ll be charities in need of volunteers. Nothing brings a warmer glow to the soul than a good deed.
“Whoever you are and wherever you happen to be spending the festive season this year, I’d like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a peaceful new year – from all of us here at HCR.’