Have you ever moved away or went somewhere for a long or short time and started missing home? Well, if you red my last blog post, you would know I had a really bad case of homesickness. What is homesickness you ask? Homesickness is caused by being away from home and having symptoms of anxiousness and depression. Other symptoms can include withdrawing and a difficulty focusing. These feelings can come in waves or can be a constant for a long period of time. Who can homesickness affect? Homesickness can affect anyone who is gone away from home for a long or even short period of time. Some examples include travelers, college students, military personnel and people who move away from home.
How can you deal with it? Below I will list many ways in which I have personally dealt with my own homesickness. All of these have been ways I have used since moving to a new place and the many trips I have taken. Through personal experience I have learned many of my own ways to overcome and cope with home sickness. Some of these have been ways other people have taught me how to cope.
Top 15 Ways to Deal With Homesickness:
1.) Talk with family
Talking with family back home or wherever they may be can help calm the feelings you are having. I constantly stayed in touch with my mom because she is a very important part of my life. Whenever I would talk to her I would feel less anxious and depressed.
2.) Do fun things
Doing fun things keeps your mind off of the feelings you are having. Sometimes it can fix the feeling for a long time, while others can be a short amount of time.
3.) Think positively
Thinking positively is one of the biggest ways I learned to cope. Instead of thinking, “I’m never going to go home again” think “I will get back home again soon. Thinking positively completely changes your outlook on life.
4.) Talk to someone
You always have someone to talk to, as you are never alone. Whether they are just a phone call, text, Skype call, Facebook message or whatever their preferred method of contact is there is always someone. Do not be afraid to reach out.
5.) Have pictures around of home
I always have pictures or keepsakes lying around that make me feel at home. Most pictures that I have around are of family. The pictures make me feel more at peace and at home.
6.) Don’t dwell on the past
You life is always going to be constantly changing. Sitting and dwelling on the past will make you feel more depressed and/or anxious. This also comes back to thinking positively.
7.) Create new traditions
As you get older, traditions change or disappear. Creating new traditions can help you transition into your own new life. They can also help you feel more comfortable in your new place. You can continue these traditions for as long as you like, after all they are traditions.
8.) Limit conversations back home
Earlier I stated calling home often, but for some limiting conversations back home can help. I had to limit myself for awhile talking to family because it was hurting me instead of helping talking to everyone but my mother. Before you make a decision on limiting yourself make sure you know which one will be better for you.
9.) Have pets
Having a pet was and is my favorite way to deal with my anxiety and depression. Pets love you unconditionally and are always willing to lend a crying shoulder or a good laugh when you need one.
10.) Explore your new surroundings
Exploring your surroundings can be anything from talking a walk, going to a new place to eat, finding out where your favorite stores are located and etc. This can help you feel more at peace and possibly make you feel at home.
Repetition of your new traditions and schedule will help you to overcome your feelings. They might even help you to become comfortable in your new setting.
12.) Don’t give yourself a hard time
Understand that your feelings are real and valid. There are other people that have experienced the feelings that you are going through. Do not beat yourself up over your hard, depressed or anxious feelings.
13.) Ask for help
Understand that it is okay to ask for help when you need it. Even though people might not understand, there are always going to be people around to lend a listening ear. Understand your feelings are valid and should be heard.
14.) Always have something to count down
When I have something to look forward to this gives me a positive frame of mind. Even if it is a whole year away, it is still something good to think about. You can always install a countdown app to help you count down the days.
15.) Plan a trip back home
This is where I have become truly thankful for planes, trains and automobiles. There is always a way to go home and see your family, friends and loved ones. Although it may cost money, that money will be worth the trip home. I try to go home at least twice a year or have someone come see me. Planning a trip back home always eases my mind and gives me something to look forward to.
As you can see there are many ways to learn to cope and overcome your home sickness. I have been in North Carolina for over a year and it is finally starting to feel like home. Although I have not made many friends, I have started to become more comfortable in this new place. New surroundings are never easy to adjust to. When I first moved here it took all my might to adjust to this new place to live. It also took a lot for me to deal with and cope to a new place of living. I had a thought to end my life is how bad my home sickness got. If you ever get that low or even before then you should call the suicide prevention hotline. Their number in the USA is 1-800-273-8255 or they have a way you can online chat. There is always someone to talk 24/7 to help you with your feelings. Depression and anxiety are real and valid feelings, so please make sure you talk to someone. Many people will also try to do bad things to get out of what they are doing to be sent home or get to leave early. Make sure the ways you cope with home sickness are not ways that get you in trouble in any way.
Once I identified my feelings of homesickness, I began to understand the many ways I could deal with it. I also started to understand that I was not alone in experiencing these feelings. People everywhere experience these feelings quite often, so you are never alone. These feelings are not always easy to get over but they are manageable. What are some of the ways you have dealt with home sickness? Let me know in the comments below.
Stay tuned for a new piece in the hometown series! See you soon!