Some of us have to make a big decision in life that requires relocation. This change of location can be exciting yet daunting at the same time. A mix of emotions that can cause homesickness.
14 years ago, I relocated to the UK due to my marriage. Over the years, I’ve experienced homesickness from time to time, and I’ve learned how to deal with it so that I can get on with my new life.
Top 15 tips to overcome your homesickness
Learn to master them, so that every time you feel like going back to your homeland, you can always check the list to try to get rid of your homesickness
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1. Let go of your emotion
When we’re homesick, we feel sad, don’t we? And our chest will be so full of emotions. These emotions need to be released. So, let it go.
Although you can put on a brave face in front of others, you would want to find a time and a place for yourself to release your grief.
So that you can cry hard if you want to. And you can sob if you need to. Just let your emotions flow out. Don’t hold back. Take your time. Let the cry finishes naturally. It will stop eventually. And when you stop crying, you’ll feel a bit lighter, even though the sadness may still be there.
2. Write down your thoughts
What the heck? I know I know. You think I must be crazy. But really, writing down what you feel inside your heart and mind, is actually good to release out your emotions. Also, to avoid negative thinking.
You can write at the same time you cry. I do.
Your writing is like mapping out your emotions and hope at the same time.
I personally write what I feel at the time and what I hope in the future. Or, I write a letter to whom I feel strongly miss at that moment i.e. my mom or my sister 😃. Though I never sent the letters, because I don’t want them to feel worried and sad. So I keep all the letters. And when they become too many, I destroy them 😊.
So yeah … write down every emotion that you feel and thoughts that you have in mind.
3. Wash your face
This may sound trivial. But it does help. Trust me.
When you feel that you already cried enough, and all your sobbing ended. Get up and wash your face. Enjoy the cold or warm water. Whichever you prefer, just let the water touch and wash your face. If you wish, you can have a shower or a bath as well.
The point is, you want your skin to touch the water. Because water is the most natural calming property…… (this is my personal claim by the way 😉)
4. Meditation and/or prayer
Prayer and meditation are good to calm yourself down. You can use whatever method of meditation. You can pray according to whatever belief/faith you have. Just focus your mind on the action.
Be mindful of your prayer. Be mindful of your meditation.
Listen to your body. Feel every part of it as you pray/meditate. Listen to your heartbeat as you say your prayer or meditate.
If you listen to relaxing music for your meditation, listen and feel every sound of it.
5. Physical activities
The next thing you want to do is, push yourself to do physical exercise. So that your body will give you more Endorphins—the hormone that triggers a positive feeling.
This exercise doesn’t need to be a fancy one. You can just do housework, for example: cleaning the house, vacuum-cleaning, mopping the floor, cleaning the windows, etc. Or you can do the walking exercise, jogging, aerobics (using Youtube…..hah!) … anything. Just move your body. Be active. Make sure you sweat after that. 🙂
6. Give yourself a treat
Everybody loves a treat, right? Especially when you just finished a hard work.
Yes, you’ve worked hard through previous steps, so now give yourself a treat. You can buy something that you like. A small treat. It doesn’t have to be big and expensive. It can be as small as ice cream. But make sure it’s something you like and enjoy.
Because there’s no point to treat yourself with a cup of cappuccino when you hate coffee and prefer a cup of tea anytime.
7. Surround yourself with people
When you feel homesick, you should force yourself to be around people. Even if it’s not easy for you. Just don’t isolate yourself alone for too long and too often.
You can simply go to places like public libraries, shopping malls, cafes, restaurants, or anywhere you can see and hear lots of people.
Perhaps you can do this at the same time you want to treat yourself with a nice lunch of your homeland cuisine (if you can find a place that does it). Or, when you want to get yourself a nice cup of tea with a delicious piece of cake. Your choice.
Just get yourself out there!
8. Go outdoor
Another thing you can do to defeat your homesickness is by going outdoors. Especially going to places where you can see the beauty of our mother nature.
Anywhere you can see trees, blue sky, water, etc. Anywhere you can hear the sound of chirping birds, trickling water, or even the sound of the wind.
Because, if we pay attention to every detail of our surrounding nature and try to take it in, we can actually get a sort of peace of mind.
9. Call your loved ones
You may wonder why I put this tip as number 9th on the list. Assuming you do all the things mentioned above, I’m confident you’re now feeling a lot better.
Obviously, you won’t get rid of your homesickness 100% by now, but I trust you’ll feel more positive and emotionally better. You’re kinda more in control of yourself.
So go ahead. Call your loved ones. Call anyone whom you miss most, and share all the things you’ve done so far, from number 5 to 8. Tell them stories of your observation over your new place when you do number 5 to 8.
This way, you’ll send a positive feeling to your loved ones. They’ll be happy for you too. And, they’ll wish well for you, instead of worrying about you.
Do call your loved ones whenever you’re already in control of your emotions. Don’t call them when you’re desperate to cry and sob. You don’t want them to be worried about you. When they’re worried, they would lose the confidence of you being away from them. This, my friend, won’t be good. So be strong and positive.
10. Find and create an interest
Here, I could’ve simply written ‘find and create a hobby’ instead. But the thing is, when you just moved away it may not be easy for you to continue your hobby, or old hobby should I say.
My first passion ever was painting. I could paint for hours and hours. But, when I relocated to the UK, I couldn’t do it. Because I didn’t have my painting kit with me. And it can be expensive to buy and build a collection of painting kit. So I compromised. Instead of painting, I started drawing with oil pastels. Because a box of good quality oil pastel is relatively cheaper.
You can do a similar thing. Find something that amuses you, yet, it keeps your mind active. It may be something arty-crafty or sporty.
If you like swimming, then go find a local pool. If you like badminton, search for a local sports center, and ask if they have a club you can join. Or if you like skiing and there is no skiing place, and it’s the wrong time of the year, perhaps you can start an alternative hobby. Skateboard maybe? Or simply running? Anything that you think you’ll like it and it’s doable for you.
You can search high and low through the internet. Explore any possibilities of a new hobby. Then start and claim it. Surprise yourself with what you can do.
After more than 14 years away from my homeland, I found myself with tons of new hobbies and interests. Crocheting, sewing, cooking, baking, cake decorating, drawing, and painting (I still do it sometimes)….. And I won’t be surprised if the list will go on 😄.
So, challenge yourself with a new passion. Make yourself proud!
11. Be social
We all know that it takes time to make friends. And we have to start somewhere to do it, even if you don’t feel up for it.
But when you moved to a new place, you have to force yourself, even more, to get social. Meet people and make friends with them.
Perhaps you can start with a little circle of your new family. If the reason for your relocation is relationship i.e. marriage, etc. Or you can try to be friendly with your work colleagues or student fellows if your relocation is because of work or study.
Another option is you can join a local gym, social clubs, sports clubs, community centers, etc.
It may be hard initially, and you may not be able to make friends at all for some time. But at least, this mingling process will teach you more about the people around you, and how to interact with them.
12. Engage with your new place
One of the big reasons we feel homesick is that we keep comparing our old-home with our new place. We see the new place from the perspective of our old home.
When we compare the two, we may find difficult to accept the new place as it is. That’s why we have to stop comparing the two places and start to accept that our new home is totally different from our old home.
We can do this as we gradually get familiar with our new place. Go around for sightseeing. Learn a bit about the place. Explore the place.
13. Be positively busy
The last thing you want when you just moved to a new place and you’re literally alone is, having ample time without knowing what to do with it. Especially, when you’re feeling homesick.
It’s ok to have a bit of free time but make sure it doesn’t leave you clueless of what to do.
Find something that interests you, and it keeps yourself busy with it. Just make sure it’s something positive. Something that won’t make you regret when you’re done with it.
The easy examples of being positively busy are cooking, sporting, crafting, reading, writing, or even helping your neighbor or friend with a DIY job, etc. Anything that can make you feel positive.
14. Cook your favorite homeland food
This is my favorite thing to do to overcome my being homesick 😉.
It may take extra effort to cook. And you may not like cooking. But, if you see the whole process of cooking in entirety, from browsing the recipes online, shopping for the ingredients, preparing and cooking the food to eating it, it’s quite a long way. But you’ll feel satisfied and proud of yourself at the end of the process.
This cooking session can be a good reason for you to mingle with your new friends too. You can invite them over and cook for them. Or, you can ask them to teach cooking local food and enjoy it together.
So, you’ll be positively busy and be social at the same time. Killing two birds with one stone 😊.
Plus, you will have more things to share with your loved ones back at home, the next time you call them. Killing three birds 😃.
15. Talk to yourself
What I mean by talking to yourself is basically telling your mind and reminding yourself about what’s important to you. Also, the reason why you moved away in the first place. Simple self-talk.
And you do this talking in your head. You can talk to yourself while you’re in the shower. Or during your breakfast. When you’re waiting for the bus. Or at the time you’re queueing for your lunch. Anywhere, anytime. Just keep talking.
But please don’t do it out loud in public places that people around you can hear you 😆.
Tell yourself both sides of the story, the positive and negative points of you being in the new place. And tell yourself about where you want to be in the future. Explain to yourself about how important it is to be able to overcome your homesickness and to get on with your new life in this new place.
Conclusion on what you can do to overcome your homesickness
Feeling homesick is not nice. But just like anything related to feeling and emotion, you can train yourself to cope well with homesickness.
Below are 15 easy ways that you can try to deal with your being homesick.
- Let go of your emotion
- Write down your mind
- Wash your face
- Prayer and/or meditation
- Physical activities
- Give yourself a treat
- Surround yourself with people
- Go outdoor
- Call your loved ones
- Find and create your interest
- Be social
- Engage with your new place
- Be positively busy
- Cook your favorite homeland food
- Talk to yourself
So now, whenever you feel homesick, tell yourself that you’re stronger than you think you are. And that you can do anything to beat your homesickness. Embrace your sad feelings, but let it go by training yourself to be more positive.
If you like the post and find it useful, feel free to share it with those who may need it.
All the best!
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