Feeling homesick when living abroad is very common yet difficult for many people.
What should we do in these times to make ourselves feel better when it is impossible to visit home regularly?
What is homesickness?
Homesickness is an acute form of anxiety or distressing emotion resulting from feeling disconnected from familiar people and places and being forced out of your routine.
Homesickness can arise from several factors, including difficulty adjusting to a new environment, feeling lonely, or having frequent system support.
It’s also when you’re confused or don’t understand a new environment, culture, language, lack of awareness of what is happening around you.
Homesickness, like any other psychological symptom, will not go overnight.
It takes a lot of effort and effort to overcome it, and sometimes you feel it seems impossible. However, the truth is that you can overcome homesickness.
Once you get rid of your homesickness, you’ll be able to see everything around you in a new, more positive light.
Each person has their way of overcoming homesickness, but here are a few strategies that can help you escape a little faster.
10 Tips to deal with homesickness when living abroad
1. Create a discovery list
Do a little research on where you live and find a few places you can fully explore. For example, you can research the top ten coffee shops in the city, best bakery with apple pie, or favorite.
Make a list of places or activities and challenge yourself to do or see all of this.
This will give you something interesting to do and keep you focused on the next adventure, instead of paying too much attention to what is happening at home.
Again, the point here is to create a project for yourself to leave home, explore your new country, and know where you are right now.
Let it remind you why you decided to study abroad, work abroad, or volunteer abroad when you first decide!
2. Turn your new place to “home”
Redecorate your room so you can feel at home. For example, you can buy some little trees, paintings, or a new blanket.
Creating a comfortable environment will make you feel better.
3. Avoid excessive contact with family and friends at home
It may sound ridiculous and confusing, but the fact that communicating too often with your loved ones will prevent you from experiencing new things and make the feeling of homesickness worse.
Talking with your family can help you be less sad and lonely initially, but in the long run, you will realize that this will only make you compare and reminisce about your time at home.
4. Temporarily put aside social media
Media and social networks make connecting more accessible than ever and keep track of what people are doing (or at least what they want you to see).
Getting yourself out of updates and images may be challenging, but it doesn’t help when you want to get over homesickness.
Instead of following everyone’s movements, you should focus on finding content for some of your interests.
5. Write a journal
There will be times when you feel chaotic in your heart in a foreign country but don’t know who to talk to. At this time, write these feelings in your journal.
Journaling is a great way to talk to yourself. Writing it in words, you will feel a lot more relieved. Besides, it’s an effective option to convey feelings quickly.
Try to focus on the positive. While feeling lonely and homesick, you should also look at the good side of the new experience. Think about the fun things you are doing or how new things remind you of the great things back home.
Also, you should make sure your diary is not just a series of negative emotions and events. If you only write about the sadness you are experiencing, you will make your homesickness worse.
When you write about negative experiences, take a moment to ponder and write about why you feel that way.
6. Promote your creativity
If you find it “confusing” to write a journal, show your feelings in painting or relax with a dance.
It’s important to have something you love to do and not feel overwhelmed when things are not going well.
7. Meet new people
The more people you know, the more distracted you are, and you can do more things.
Walking into a space with strangers may feel scary, but you’ll never know. The relationship is outside the safe zone (and in that space).
8. Learn a new language
The biggest communication barrier is the language barrier. And, of course, learning a new language is not easy at all, but when native speakers surround you, it’s much easier for you to improve.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They will be happy to correct it for you right away.
9. Do exercise
Exercise helps people feel happier by regulating “happy hormones” (endorphins). This can help you fight depression and anxiety and be healthy.
Go for a daily run, go to class by bike, or try to walk as much as possible. Do whatever you like, but you need to make an effort to create healthy habits.
Your body will be healthier, and more endorphins from exercise will make you feel happier!
10. Learn something new
Studying every day will keep your mind active.
There is no better time to start learning cooking or doing yoga, martial arts.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, find something you enjoy right away. Immerse yourself in a new culture. There are countless festivals and local activities out there for you to take part in.
Final thoughts on overcoming homesickness
Moving to a new country is not easy, and it isn’t easy to adapt.
You’ll feel bad if you stay in your room all day and do not bother to do anything.
So do whatever you want. Let your free time be filled with personal interests.