Almost everyone grapples with missing home when working abroad. Homesickness can leave you feeling upset, distressed, isolated, or lonely. If you’re suffering from homesickness, just remember you’re certainly not the only one!
Homesickness can be quite a personal feeling that not everyone feels comfortable talking about. There’s a chance that those around you are feeling the burn too, but are just keeping schtum.
Here are some ways that you can help you deal with homesickness and learn to love your new environment.
1. Keep yourself busy.
This one should be easy. Don’t spend hours sitting in front of your laptop looking at Facebook photos of your friends back in the States. Staying in contact with them is one thing. Constantly wishing you were back with them is another. There is always something that needs to be done – a task, an errand, a project that needs attention, etc.
2. Be Proactive In Meeting New People.
Keep going to club meetings, playing sports, window shopping, and even going out to eat for that matter. Getting out and staying social is the best way I know to avoid homesickness. The more social the activity, the better.
3. Enjoy the unique aspects of your new environment.
Immerse yourself in the culture. Even if you’ve just moved to a different place in your home country, you might find that the local culture is quite different from what you’re used to. Learn the local expressions, try out new cuisine, and check out local bars and pubs. You may get an excellent recommendation for finding the best burrito of your life.
4. Keep in touch (but not too much!)
Whether it’s a phone call, a Whatsapp group chat or a letter in the post, keeping in touch with your friends and family helps to close that gap and make you feel more involved with things back home. However, too much can actually make you feel that distance more.
5. Understand that what you’re going through is normal.
The most important step in overcoming homesickness is realizing that there isn’t anything wrong with you. Acknowledging and accepting your homesickness is a way of learning how to live a new life, from starting college all the way to moving to a new city for a job. Once you know you’re homesick, you can start working towards getting over it.
6. Pick up a new interest.
Finding something new to do on your own can help you find your passion. It can give you a positive, productive activity to focus your energy on and can distract you from feeling sad or lonely. Learning a new skill can also help you break out of your comfort zone.
7. Keep yourself healthy.
Keeping healthy will help to keep you feeling much more positive about life – it’s all about that positive cycle! Maintaining a favorite sport or activity helps bring balance and routine back to your daily life and can make new spaces feel a little more familiar and welcoming.
How do you deal with homesickness abroad?
Share in the comments below!
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