Homesickness is something we all felt when we wanted our familiar comfort zone, which we all have created in some way. It’s common during any sort of transition to feel this way. It can be so debilitating sometimes, right? Felling homesick after relocation, can present many forms of feelings – fear, anxiety, sadness and even anger. All those human reactions when moving from your familiar environment to the unknown. For some it happens to just feel a bit down, to have the general feeling of losing the once predictable environment. Regardless of how you’re feeling it, feeling homesick after relocation is something natural, as we human beings feel the strongest when having habits and we are surrounded by familiarity. Lets read now the tips so we can get you through this uncomfortable situation.
The defining feature of homesickness is the periodic thinking focused on home, on your homeland, on the home cookings etc. This consequently occurs when you experience a separation from home in one way or another. So how can you recognize if you’re feeling homesick or you are experiencing depression or anxiety for another reason? Well, try finding out if you are experiencing something else than just missing home.
Usually there are four factors that may affect you feeling homesick after relocating somewhere else. Firstly, the feeling of unfamiliarity brought by the new experience. Secondly, the attitude you are taking towards the new experience. The third factor may be, that your personality traits are not effective with new major experiences. Lastly, the whole mental preparation of going somewhere new, from both your side, and your family, friends side.
Coping with homesickness starts with being able to recognize it. Once you do, you can accept it for what it is and move on to actionable steps toward overcoming it.
Homesickness is something situational. “It’s normal and adaptive to feel homesick for some period of time. It’s just your emotions and mind telling you that you’re out of your element,” says Josh Klapow, clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama’s School of Public Health, in an interview with CNN. To be honest, you do have the control over how you feel it. You can embrace it, but don’t let it define you. Instead of clinging to what you’ve lost, embrace what’s new. You can always keep in touch with your friends and family back home, when you feel like you need it. However it is essential to build new relationships that can help you feel like yourself again.
We are not saying to ditch your old friends, but create new friendships as well. It is never a bad idea to create a new circle of support, when you are somewhere far away from your old home. Just look for ways to get involved in a social activities or volunteer opportunities that can be something you’re passionate about. There are many ways to get attached to your new home, and to have people you can talk to and rely on.
Try making an effort to establish ways of living in your new home that are similar to your old one and make you feel more familiar. When I moved to The Netherlands, I found peace from homesickness by getting my mothers’ cooking receipts and preparing the meals like my mother. Even something as simple as going to the cinema like you used to can be a positive step towards beating homesickness.
Being isolated will only increase homesickness. While your new home may feel like a safe place from the scary unfamiliar environment, it can just as easily become a cage that keeps you from fully experiencing all those beautiful things that are around you. Make the choice to get out of the house every day and engage with the new environment. Try out nearby restaurants, visit local attractions, or even just walk around and explore. Maybe, try finding a new hobby that engages with the outside world. The more time you spend out of the house, the more time you’ll spend out of your head.
Taking care of yourself is always important, especially if you are experiencing homesickness. For starters you can try exercising. This help relieve depression and anxiety and overall helps you feel better during a transitional period. As an added benefit, it’s easy to take exercise out of the home and combine it with other things that help alleviate homesickness, such as being social and eating less unhealthy food.
Overall, homesickness is a normal and natural part of growing. Learning how to deal with the feelings can make you a stronger person. That is why you should embrace homesickness for what it is, and take the necessary steps to work through it. Eventually, you will find peace in your home again.