What does it mean to feel homesick?
“Homesickness is defined as the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home. It carries the unique hallmark of preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects. Sufferers typically report depression and anxiety, withdrawn behaviour, and difficulty focusing on topics unrelated to home.” -S.J, Matt.
Whether you are moving just an hour down the road or across the globe, moving away from home is not easy. There are many reasons for feeling homesick, but just remember, you’re not alone! There are more people going through the same. Missing home is common!
That’s why we’ve gathered some tips for you to learn how to love and make this new place your home away from home!
- Understand your feelings. And learn to recognize them. Feeling homesick involves more than just missing home. You could also be feeling nostalgic, depressed, and, or anxious. Learning to identify your emotions can help you figure out why you are feeling the way you do.
Click here to watch a short film about homesickness
- Give yourself time to feel. You should let yourself be homesick for a bit. But put a time limit. Don’t stay home all day watching movies in bed. Let off steam, pick up your phone, hit your new friends’ DMs, and go out!
- Keep yourself busy. Go out and explore your new home. Even if it is just for a short while, it’s time for you to form a new daily routine. You could even do the things that you loved to do at home! Check online and you might find the HOT Yoga class you much enjoy!
- Make new friends. It’s easy to say, we know, that’s why you’ve got to put yourself into situations where you’ll meet people! Join a book club, an adventure club, a gym, download a dating app, up to you! But get involved. Meeting locals and learning about their traditions will help you overcome homesickness too.
- Stay connected. Schedule some video calls with the ones you miss the most. It’ll give you something to look forward to each week, even if keeping in touch means connecting over a text or phone call.
- Exercise. Get some work out done and release some endorphins in the process. It will not only boost your immune system but will make you feel good too! If you could find a group of people to do it with, go for it. It will help you socialize more.
- Keep a journal. Write down how you feel. Try and keep track of all your thoughts. It could help you let all those feelings away and understand better when and why you feel them. Think of this as a way of reflecting on your thoughts and making something good out of it.
- Talk about how you feel. If you are away for school, find an RA, counsellor or a friend you trust! Sometimes it’s hard to open up about our feelings but keep in mind that others are experiencing the same as you and they might be able to help you get through this. Remember that seeking help does not make you weak.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Make a bucket list about the places you want to explore and go. Go on adventures. Challenge yourself. You could ask new friends to come with you or go on a solo trip around your new country! What better way to start learning about the new place than travelling around it?
- Stay positive. Moving away will open up your mind and make you grow as a person. You will learn about new places and cultures. Remember how lucky you are for living this experience and don’t feel bad for missing home in the process. It is all part of it. So, keep a positive mind, be kind to yourself, eat healthily, get enough sleep and find a balance in your life. You’ve got this.
Moving away can be challenging. If you are struggling with adaptation, remember there’s always help out there!
And you? How are you dealing with homesickness?
Tell us about your experience in the comments and share your stories with others!