Tips to Help with Homesickness

Hi guys! Today’s post is all about Homesickness. Now that we are in summer, I know a lot of people might have taken off for the summer or are about to go abroad for a new job, or whatever the case may be.

Homesickness is a natural and very common feeling to experiences no matter what age you are. So, today I will give you some tips to help you if you are or ever do experience homesickness.

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1: Become a Tourist in the Area you are in. 

Go to the most popular sites and attractions to get to know the city like a vacation right in the beginning. This will help you to get to know the country’s culture right away. Once you start feeling some way at ease, begin to find your favourite spots.

The places you feel most comfortable, for example, a restaurant that serves your favourite food, a great park for walking, or whatever that is most important to you and your day to day routine.

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2: Don’t Isolate Yourself

Don’t isolate yourself in your room, no matter how tempting it may be. Remember that homesickness comes from the human need for connection, love, and security. Despite its name, your feelings of “homesickness” may not have anything to do with your actual home.

Anything that is familiar, stable, comfortable, or positive can be a cause for homesickness when you’re away from it. But you can still find those things outside of your home, you first need to force yourself to get out and to get to know the area/people. Getting out and about or surrounding yourself with people can be a great distraction from homesickness.

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3: Take Care of Yourself

Take care of yourself physically. Feeling physically drained can heighten the symptoms of homesickness as you will be more vulnerable. Make sure that you are looking after your body by eating, drinking and sleeping correctly.

Also, if you are feeling homesick, be care of alcohol. Alcohol can have an effect on how you feel physically and emotionally. So, make sure not to drink too much if you are drinking.

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4: Don’t be hard on yourself

Be realistic. It’s normal to experience feelings of homesickness. Make sure that you do not put too much pressure on yourself. You don’t have to get everything right straight away. Nor do you have to rush into making major decisions about staying or leaving.

 

5: Give yourself a skype or phone break

Nowadays, Technology is an amazing way to stay in touch with the people you love, no matter where you are in the world. But, make sure you are not spending too much time on the phone or on skype to family and friends back home, especially at the beginning.

If you’re spending two hours every day talking to your parents and catching up on every little thing happening back home, you will find it hard to be present and to connect to the place you are in.

Of course it’s important to stay in touch with home but make sure it’s not too much. Find a healthy balance between your connections to home and being present in the place you actually live is vital for developing your life.

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6: Make a Bucket List for the Country you are in

When you start to feel homesick, wipe out the iPad/computer or go to a local internet café, and start researching all about the area you are in. Make a list of a few places you want to explore. It can be as simple as making a list of the ten best coffee shops in the city and trying them all and rating them yourself.

Or look at activities that you want to try or places you want to see and challenge yourself to do/see them all before you leave. This will give you something fun to do and keep you focused on your current adventure, instead of dwelling on what’s happening at home.

 

7: Try and Exercise

Exercise is a crucial coping tool. When we exercise we release chemicals called endorphin’s in our body. To put it into simpler language, it’s our body’s natural feel-good chemical, by triggering a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.

Endorphin’s can make you feel exhilarated and happy which will help with the symptoms of homesickness. To begin with it doesn’t have to be anything ground breaking, even just a 5 minute walk down the road or run up and down your stairs to begin with.

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8: Stay Positive

Make a list of 3 positive things that happened that day. It can be as simple as having a nice breakfast. This is a great techniques to shift your thought pattern to a more positive one, especially if you are feeling homesick. Homesickness, like most anxiety, is prone to negative thinking.

 

9: Establish Some Routine

Setting up a routine will help keep your mind busy and help you adjust to life in your new environment. Use the opportunity, do something new or keep up with one of your favourite hobbies.

Just because you’ve gone abroad, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue doing the things you love. Or it can be something as simple as creating a shopping schedule or indulging yourself in your favourite TV show, whatever that will help boost your mood.

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10: Give Yourself Some Praise

Acknowledge and give yourself credit for what you are doing okay in. Travelling or moving away can be an extremely exciting but a hard thing as well. Homesickness can have an impact on your self-esteem. So, don’t forget to recognise your strength and everything that you are doing ok in.

Make a list of all your strengths that will help you through this phase of your life, and that is exactly what it is a phase, it will pass. Also, make a list of everything that is going right or everything that you are doing ok in. You already know everything that isn’t going right but, make sure and balance that up with the good as well.

 

11: Be Open Minded

Try to be open-minded. Sometimes expecting too much can be part of the problem. If you are expecting things to be a certain way it can be more difficult to deal with them when they don’t turn out as planned. So, try and be as open minded as possible and try not to have a picture or an idea of how it should be,

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Remember it’s normal. Times of feeling low, stressed and anxious are part and parcel of moving away. There is always a period of ‘adjustment’ that people go through when faced with any change which usually includes feeling initially happy, then lonely, then unhappy, then settled, confident and content!

Niamh-Psychotherapist xx 

2 thoughts on “Tips to Help with Homesickness

  1. Excellent post! I know what it feels like to be homesick.. When I moved to Australia for the first six months I was devastatingly homesick! But after 6 months something clicked and I was fine! 🙂 Thanks for the tips

    Liked by 1 person

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