We all know that the holidays are a time to spend with family and friends. However, if you’re contracted to work on an offshore oil rig during this time of year, it could mean spending them far from your loved ones. As challenging as this may be, there are ways to ease the holiday blues. Consider these helpful tips for keeping up your cheer while spending your holidays on an oil rig:
- Be Straight with Your Family: Obviously, you’re going to know if you can’t make it home for the holidays. Share your schedule with your family as soon as it becomes available; this will give them the chance to accept the situation. It will also let them know you’ll be thinking of them no matter how far away you’re working. Of course, if a last minute opportunity comes your way, then the surprise trip home will be all the more sweeter.
- Stay in Touch: Just because you can’t physically be there for the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch. During the holidays, keep the texts flowing. Be sure to share plenty of pictures of your life on the rig. If you have the opportunity, schedule a little face time with a video chat. Even on an oil rig, there will be plenty of technology to let you connect with your family over the holidays; just make sure you work out your time zone issues in advance.
- Plan for a Second Christmas: There will come a time when you’ll be off the rig and back with your family, so plan for a second Christmas. In many ways, a Christmas in March could be even more fun. You’re sure to have plenty of laughs as you come up with a spring version of a Christmas tree! If possible, it might make sense to squeeze in an early Christmas before you leave for your time on the rig. Either way, locking down a date for an alternative holiday will lessen the sting of you being away, especially if you have younger children.
- Mail a Letter: We live in the age of instant communication, but when was the last time you sent an actual handwritten letter? Sending a greeting card or letter from your job posting will deliver a personal message that only you can craft. There is something very special about holding a letter or card sent from a loved one; these are the mementoes that will matter years from now. Can you imagine looking for an email in ten years?
- Make it Count: Just because you’re be away from your family doesn’t mean you’re going to be alone. There will be plenty of co-workers who are in the exact same situation. Why not put together your own celebration with your rig mates? This will be the time to break out the family photos and that box of home baked cookies that arrived in the mail. At the end of the day, you’ll feel a lot better if you’ve had the chance to share some holiday cheer.