Homesickness is a natural part of adapting to a new environment, caused by our innate desire for familiar, comfortable surroundings and strong bonds with loved ones.
Unhealthy ways of dealing with homesickness include isolating yourself from family and friends back home as well as dwelling on how much you miss home too often in conversations and introspective thoughts. It is crucial that a balance is struck between maintaining relationships back home as well as creating new ones in your new community.
1. Surround yourself with things that feel familiar.
Missing home is a natural part of transitioning into a new environment, but it is crucial that we find effective strategies for dealing with these emotions rather than suppressing them and becoming miserable.
One way to ease homesickness is to surround yourself with familiar things – this could include anything from finding cozy cafes or shaded trees where you can sit to socializing more frequently outside your house. Also helpful: getting out as often as possible to avoid boredom – which often contributes to feelings of homesickness. Making friends among local students or expats may provide respite when feeling down.
One way to alleviate homesickness is to focus on what makes your new environment different and special. If you are studying abroad, try experiencing its culture by visiting museums and palaces; or connect with it by embracing local food and traditions.
2. Get out of the house.
Feeling homesick can be a common part of adjusting to a new environment. Studies suggest that feelings of homesickness usually dissipate over time; however, persistent homesickness could signal anxiety or depression and should be addressed through professional counseling services.
Strive to appreciate all that makes your new community special. Try new restaurants, visit museums and attractions, and immerse yourself in local culture – this will help you feel more connected and less homesick.
Keep yourself from making homesickness worse, such as bottling up emotions or spending too much time on social media. Instead, practice healthy coping mechanisms like exercising, eating well and getting enough rest – including scheduling facetime calls with family back home and writing letters when nostalgic feelings strike. Finding an oasis in your new environment like a cafe or park where you can relax while meeting people may also help.
3. Make new memories.
Homesickness is about missing those people, places, and things that made you feel safe, supported, and connected – finding ways to cope can help! Perhaps creating new memories would help. Perhaps your old bowling league or book club were similar in your old city – try finding something similar in your new city so as to meet new people while creating bonds in your community.
Attempts at hiding or ignoring homesickness will only serve to exacerbate it in the long run, so being honest about how you’re feeling is crucial in finding ways to cope without burying negative emotions or comparing yourself with others. Homesickness is part of transitioning to new lives; be patient with yourself and know it will get better over time – eventually you will love your new home as much as you loved your old one.
4. Take care of yourself.
Homesickness can take its toll on both emotional and physical wellbeing. To combat homesickness effectively, it’s essential that you eat healthily, sleep soundly and exercise regularly. Staying connected with loved ones back home through video chat, phone calls or snail mail is another great way to combat homesickness.
Stay aware that homesickness is a normal reaction and will pass. Try to focus on what’s great about your new environment and cherish each new experience that arises.
If homesickness becomes severe and interferes with daily life, seek assistance from a mental health professional for guidance. They will assess your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatments if necessary. Homesickness can be part of the adjustment to college life; but seeking assistance early could make all the difference between longing for home and enjoying your experience abroad.