I’ve been away from home for the past four months, studying and grueling over work. It’s been an inspiring experience to live abroad. I’ve learned so many new things about myself and life. I know I will appreciate this time abroad in the future, but I can’t deny, I’m starting to feel homesick.
I miss the comfort of my own home, my cat, the temperate weather of my state. I knew I’d have to prepare for these feelings, but I thought they would have come sooner. I have barely three weeks left before I return and it’s a bittersweet feeling.
Being far from home, whether that’s because of work, studies, or even a vacation, can elicit the classic sense of homesickness. We are creatures of habit and being taken out of our habitual spaces can affect us in various ways. Prospects define it as, “a feeling of stress or anxiety caused by separation from people and places that you know.” Anyone can feel homesick and everyone has probably experienced it at one point or another. Symptoms of homesickness include depression, anxiety, nostalgia, loneliness and even sleep disruption, according to Mt. Lawley Counseling Center and Prospects.
Not much can be done to prevent the happenings of homesickness, you just have to let it roll through you. The feelings can be subdued. Some ways to do this include:
- Calling/face timing your friends and family. However, don’t contact them too often as constant communication can exacerbate the feelings and prevent you from branching out in your current community.
- Speaking of branching out, if you’re in school, join clubs, societies, and organisations that interest you. It’s helpful and worth it to make meaningful connections in your residing area.
- Send postcards, care packages, and souvenirs. Everyone likes receiving interesting mail. It gives people something to look forward to.
- Eat, sleep, and exercise well and accordingly to establish a routine. This will normalise life in a foreign place. By the time you know it, everyday life abroad will start feeling just as mundane as it felt at home.
- Develop a self-care ritual and be consistent. It’s important to try and get comfortable being alone as you might not have many familiar faces around you for the beginning time of your travels.
Good luck fellow travelers, remember to take care and enjoy life a day at a time.