How to deal with Homesickness when Living Abroad?

1,183 Views Updated: 02 Feb 2021
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How to deal with Homesickness when Living Abroad?

Homesickness is the distress caused from being away from home. It increases when the objects of attachment that were in your home surface in your head and create a terrible longing for them. This can produce feelings of loneliness and alienation since you are not in an environment that you are familiar with.

Living abroad can not only be a choice but a need for people if they are not able to find suitable employment in their own country or have to live abroad for career growth. People who fail to develop coping mechanisms early suffer from intense homesickness and are helpless in blocking such thoughts.  So, how to get rid of homesickness when living abroad?

Here Are Ways In Which You Can Help Yourself Cope Better


# 1.  Don’t Make A Safe Haven

The first thing most people do when they miss their home and have brooded over it for a while is that they withdraw themselves from everything that is going around them and hole themselves in a quiet room lamenting that they are not close to their home. The desire to create more such memories should never be strong enough to prevent one from living his life.


# 2.  Know that Nostalgia Has No Limits

Nostalgia occurs when you have feelings for the past, particularly about happy recollections. Everybody has positive and negative experiences in their life which they dwell on and whenever we give in to pondering we don’t know when to stop. When we have had a warm and positive experience that heightens our senses and makes us feel good, we usually are led by ourselves to believe that this cannot be matched and rob ourselves of other positive things to come. One must always practice positivity in all their experiences and lose oneself in nostalgia only when one is old enough to contemplate freely.

# 3.  Surround Yourself With Some Household Items

Loving anything or anyone is a gradual process and so is reducing the intensity of that attachment. One cannot expect to banish all feelings of home from their heart instantly when they move overseas. Putting some items in your new room that evokes a sense of attachment to this place as well as bring you a sense of comfort about your old one is a great idea. As human beings, we have a tendency to exaggerate our feelings so we must practice discipline when it comes to feeling in order, we don’t get lost in them. A reminder about your roots will help you hold on to that sense of heritage without making it the only thing about you.


# 4. Find Friends Who Play A Role Similar To That Of Your Family Members

When we are with our family members, we generally form a view where we recognize a particular individual for that one need they serve better than others. You mom may be better at consoling you when you are sad, and your dad is too good at taking you to new places. All of us have family members who do something for us that others cannot, and it is important that we recognize it. When we are feeling homesick and looking for material to brood over these traits about our loved ones will certainly come to the surface and we must tap their potential before we disappear into other thoughts. When we move to a new place, we associate with all kind of people some are warm and kind to us where some are cold and only speak when it’s necessary. Identify the dominating trait of every person and then make them your friends so that they replicate the role of people you have always been comfortable with. It is a hard thing to accomplish but will certainly help you cope with the strangeness of this new place and ease you into coming into your own.

# 5.  Skype The Distance

When the homesickness from living abroad reaches its peak, all you need to do is given your loved ones call! You were out all week, and this thought did not occur to you even once during studying and playing but now that the euphoria of the week has died you are all by yourself, and the first thing your mind thinks about is home. The sight of your parents calling out to you to sit at the dinner table whenever such yearning harrows you, it is important that you either call your parents or video call them. Seeing them in such times will not make you feel that you have been isolated from them forever and sharing your experiences will make them feel better as well.


# 6. Find That Place Which Celebrates Your Culture

Countries to which people migrate a lot are the ones which generally have cafe and pubs which celebrate culture other than it’s original one. There are butter chicken restaurants in the United Kingdom and the best Italian bologna sausage in U.S.A. Whenever someone from a particular country moves to another, they take their culture with them which is inseparable. You have not spoken in your native language in a while, and it is crushing your heart. Also, you have not heard music popular in your country or watched a tv show that soothes your heart. There is no point being weary and heartsick, grab your t-shirt and head out to that suburban place where they play music and dress like people from your land. Take it all in the food, the smell of the place, the silliness of your culture and the pride of its strength. This will help you never overwrite your sense of identity and tell you that you will always have the strength to support your love.

#7.Know That You Can Be Multi-cultured

One of the fears of being brought up in one culture for a significant period of one’s life is that it leads one to believe that they cannot add layers of another to their personality. This can be a setback when it comes to growth and leads to a false sense of entitlement where one believes that he must get certain things because he is abiding by the culture. Every culture does things differently and if one tries a few things of another culture, they will find out that they can get accustomed to a few things here as well all they need to do is stop being stubborn. Knowledge about the culture of the country one is living in will bring more opportunities for rapport and bonding with people who already enjoy that culture and will make you a certainty at outings since you have what they got and bring more to the table.


# 8. Don’t Change Yourself

A big mistake people make when they go overseas is that they try to imitate people in their new surroundings and lose all sense of self. They withdraw from their habits which is a big error as they are already in a changed environment and habits are really important to keep one together. Leaving them is a sign that you are not sure of yourself whereas all you are not sure of it the interaction between you and your surroundings. If you used to run in your neighborhood, then find a park here and do what you do best: run. If you enjoyed singing with your friends or shouting at the world find a place to do just that. Don’t change your habits in any case because the friends you make just to do away with your loneliness won’t stay for long as you will soon lose interest in the activities you didn’t like in the first place.

# 9.  Celebrate Your Freedom

When you were in your country, it was difficult for you to do certain things in a certain way because the fear of being judged by people whose actions are otherwise stopped yours from satisfying the impulse which pleaded you take that action. In this country, no one knows you, and you don’t know them so you can start with doing the thing for which the impulse is the strongest. Of course, you must consider the consequences of that action but just not from a moral perspective which you did in your country rather from a practical one.



# 10. Indulge in Pretend- Play

Call your best friend who you used to hang out with all the time and ask them would h like to hang out? This will help you speak to someone about your current state instead of increasing the attack of the voice in your head. Call different people at different times of the day to speak about the activities you would be doing if you were home. This will discard those feelings of longing and help you come good on change instead of feeling hurt and broken. Family and Friends who imitate other characters from your home setting will surely change your mood and set a cheerful tone.

Share with us your experiences of homesickness and coping up when you moved from a warm environment to another one which was different and took a lot of courage to settle in. Drop your comments below.

( Image Courtesy:- 1. The Leap, 2. Czech College, 3. Greenbot, 4. USAroom, 5. Uncharteres 101; The Expat(Featured image)

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Posted by: Alana Posts: (4) Opinions: (9) Points: 350 Rank: 496
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I had the most terrible week of my life when I had to move from my country to USA for higher studies. First of all the culture there was way different than i imagined. I imagined total convenience and no stink of garbage which was not there at all near my university but the place I lived at was not too different in terms of filth I found near my own home. There were a lot of jocks who roughed me up for my ethnicity and I isolated myself in my room crying over the lack of friendship and good environment I had in my country. The longing for my parents and the yearning to have dinner with them increased at nights no matter how much I skyped with them. The biggest challenge was adjusting to the food which was way different than the one I savoured and enjoyed in my country. I was so depressed I thought of going back to my home and was not giving any thought to the amount of work I had put in to get this scholarship and got ahead of a number of kids who did not get the same opportunity. This stoked fire inside me and I approached my days with greater determination. After a lot of thinking I found abdul who helped me cope in a great way. I was born in india and he was born in pakistan so the cultural divide was not as much as it was with the natives of this country. He took to a place that served naan and other delicacies for which the craving I could just not suppress.He had a nice collection of movies as well from our land that we watched together and criticized some of the ways of people of this country. It was fun and made me forget the intensity of my yearning for home. The biggest help he offered me was playing cricket with him near the basketball court of our campus. Americans are fans of baseball and do not play cricket as much as us so to begin it there and then see americans having fun playing this sport was a key moment in making me feel that if they can change their ways why can’t I ? I guess the fear of losing my culture and subsequently my identity was too high in me and had overpowered me taking away the ability to act. I took to few of their tastes and reduced my interaction with my friends back home finally settling in the country I came to hone my skills and potential in.

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