Some advice from us to you to help curb your dreaded homesickness
6 October 2016| Last updated on 18 October 2017
Though the idea of living abroad can be exhilarating, the transition can also be overwhelming and challenging for many.
One of the biggest challenges that expats have when relocating is homesickness. Homesickness is especially common for expat newbies or even experienced expats who have grown attached to a specific country that they have claimed as ‘home’, in this case, homesickness is inevitable, but it can be overcome.
What is homesickness?
Home sickness is form of anxiety that results from feeling detached from your previous lifestyle and routine with familiar places and people.
Homesickness comes from loneliness and the transition of entering a new environment and disconnected from friends and family. Additionally, adapting to a new culture that is deemed unfamiliar to you can be a factor of this emotional distress, amongst other factors.
If you’ve ever moved away from home, you are likely familiar with the feeling of homesickness. Each person has their own way of dealing with the homesickness blues.
If you are new to this form of anxiety, don’t worry, this feeling will not last forever, and luckily for you, we’ve gathered some strategies that we’ve used to overcome this distress once and for all…
Moving away can be exciting! Forget that this is home for a moment and take some time to become a tourist and learn all about the wonders that lurk in the city.
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Do your homework
Learn all about the culture and history of the country, in order to help you fit in. You may also want to research some restaurants, parks, beaches etc. to get a good feel of the place, and possibly plan your next weekend!
Keep in touch
Just because you’ve moved abroad, it doesn’t mean your friends and family have forgotten you.
Make sure to constantly keep in touch and make sure to remember special dates such as birthdays, anniversaries etc. Your friends and family can also support you during your transition and be a lending ear for the days that you’re feeling secluded.
Social media is a great way to keep in touch and see what your friends are up to. Just as much as you enjoy seeing your friend’s in all their glory, chances are they would like to know more about your adventure abroad, so make sure to share your photos with friends and family.
On that note, also make sure not to spend too much time on social media and actually get out there and explore your surroundings. Who knows, maybe you will meet some new friends with fascinating stories…
Eat at your heart’s content
Every country has its own signature cuisine. Learning about the local food can really help you learn more about the country and the culture. Each dish has a story and each story is a mystery waiting to be uncovered, so go ahead and explore the different cultural flavours.
Stick to your habits and routines
Don’t change your lifestyle just because you moved abroad. You may be a little under the weather now, considering that your circle of friends were a big part of your day-to-day habits, but that doesn’t mean that your habits end there.
Make new friends and start creating new habits, or sticking to old ones to get help you balance your old routine and introducing newer routines as well.
Your body is a temple, and it is important that you nourish it with good food and exercise. Exercise will largely help you cope with your homesickness and help you to adapt with more insight to your new home.
If ever you’re feeling down, go for a walk, a jog or hit the gym and you will find that you’ve released all that negative energy and rejuvenated it with positive energy and a stronger and more confident you!
Me time is so important. Make sure that you spend some time switching off and just being alone in a calm and peaceful setting. Practice deep and controlled breathing and focus on your accomplishments. This will help you take advantage of your ‘me time’ and learn to truly appreciate yourself.
Don’t forget your hobbies
If you enjoy knitting, drawing, dancing, whatever your hobby may be, keep up with it. You will find that continuing doing something that you love will be very therapeutic during your homesickness and will help you cope with your transition.
Homesickness is not forever, it a temporary anxiety that is derived from negative thoughts. Try to be positive and look at the brighter side of things. See your new city from a new and positive light and remind yourself each day of all the blessings that you’ve got.
Have an outlet
Whether you like to write it out in a journal or talk about it with friends, it is important that you do not suppress your emotions.
You will find that releasing your emotions will help you regain your confidence and reduce the negative energy and anxiety that you have long kept.
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It is important not to let homesickness prevent you from doing the things that you love. You may have to work hard to cope with this feeling of anxiety, but once you have learned to deal with it, you will come out stronger and better, and the fight will be well worth it.
Homesickness will not go away overnight, it may take some time, but with the right attitude and strategies, it can be defeated.