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?
# 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)