The week after Christmas and before the New Year can be tough. Everyone experiences this limbo period differently and in varying degrees. If you live far away from your loved ones and have to spend this time on your own, it’s easy to feel down, particularly if it’s your first time being away. If you did manage to see your family over the holidays, it can also be tough adjusting back to regular life away from home.

Regardless, there are ways to avoid those post-Christmas blues. Here are four things to do to be happy and stay connected both during and after the holiday season.

1. Keep in touch

Thanks to advancing technology, there are so many ways to stay in touch with friends and family. You can easily make cheap international calls and talk for as long as you like, so there’s no need to feel lonely!

Yolla is the best option for chatting with the whole family and keeping in touch at Christmas. If you haven’t heard of Yolla before, it’s an international calling app that allows you to make affordable calls overseas. It’s available to download on iPhones, iPads, Android phones and Android tablets. You can find out the competitive calling rates ahead of time on their website, so there won’t be any expensive surprises!

You can phone mum and dad and even grandma, since cheap international calls can be made to landlines too. Better yet, calls to other users with the Yolla app are completely free. If you invite others to join, you can earn free credits too.

If you want to go old-school, you can also send a nice Christmas card or holiday-themed postcard to let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them. Everyone loves receiving mail, and the thought will definitely be appreciated.

2. Plan a trip

Depending on a person’s line of work, getting time off around the busy holiday period can often be difficult. Although keeping in touch at Christmas is important, it can’t always be done in person. If this sounds like the situation you’re in, why not organise a different time to get together with everyone?

Knowing you’ll see your loved ones soon is an exciting feeling. Book a trip to visit home, or meet your family in an in-between location for an exciting holiday. Using an international calling app like Yolla can help you coordinate all the details and make the planning process much smoother.

3. Play tour guide

Maybe you can’t leave your current location because of work or financial reasons, but you can still invite others to visit you!

If you’ve moved far away to a place your loved ones haven’t been before, it’ll be a fun and memorable experience to show others around your new home. Jot down all your favourite local hot spots and make a personalised itinerary for a truly special time. Even if you feel homesick for the town you grew up in, you’ll be able to make new memories with those you care about.

4. Take up a new hobby or activity

If you’re feeling low after the holidays, you can try and take control over other areas of your life. One way to end the year off well and start the new year on a high is to create some positive resolutions.

What new hobby or activity might interest you next year? Make these resolutions specific and actionable so that you have the best chance of actually following through and keeping them. It can be something small like going to play a sport once per week, or something else you could learn how to do.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to play guitar, or learn a new language. Whatever it is, make a plan and write down the steps required for reaching that goal. Writing out these intentions and resolutions will give you an instant boost of happiness and positivity heading into 2019.