Updated by Nids Esplana
Reduce Homesickness Abroad
Moving abroad whether for work, studies, or simply traveling is not that easy. The culture, the people around you, the reason why you are there, the feeling of being alone would really trigger being homesick.
This is really hard for those who are working abroad and signed up with a long-term contract. This means that they cannot just go home anytime they want.
Homesickness is emotional distress that results from feeling disconnected from familiar people like your family, relatives and friends, and places.
Homesickness arises from different factors -- difficulty adjusting to a new environment, feeling lonely or cut off from your regular routine and system, confusion or problems understanding a new environment, culture, language, a lack of control over what’s happening around you, culture shock, and so on...
What can you do to fight homesickness?
Since you will be away from home, be sure to bring something that reminds you of your home like family pictures, your favorite book, or your favorite clothes. Whenever you feel sad and alone, you can always look into those pictures and can instantly feel connected again at home.
At first, during your first days away from home, every time you look at them, you will cry for sure but always remind yourself about your goal that brought you to that country and makes it your inspiration to get through homesickness.
The best thing to cope with your homesickness is to get yourself busy. Look around at your new place. Try some new food. Explore your surrounding. Visit the popular tourist place in your new area. You can also meet new fellow friends on your rest day.
Of course, this is normally done prior to COVID-19. And so since it is still not safe to go out to mingle with others at this time, you can still do it digitally. Be active in the community groups, participate in some online surveys, check out some new cooking videos that not only will help you learn their cuisines but also, gain your confidence as you acquire new cooking styles as well keeps you busy.
When there is a chance, learn more about the family you are staying with, and since you cannot go our often at this time of COVID, you can just visit some popular tourist places in your new country via the internet, learn some basic about their language which would be super helpful for you as a newcomer, check out about their culture and all other things about the people around and most of all, know and follow their law.
Exercise is highly important especially these days. It is advisable to be fit and healthy and boost your immune system while you are away from home. It also helps you keep your sanity when you are healthy which is important for anyone who's a bit down in the dumps. Having bad eating habits and being inactive can make you feel lethargic and bring down your mood – which isn’t helpful if you already feel less than great.
It might take a few weeks for you to get oriented to your new space, but once you start figuring out where things are, try to come up with a plan that allows you to get some exercise and fresh air every day. Others take time on online Zumba, Yoga, gardening, and other online exercises while they are at home and cannot go out often during the pandemic.
In normal life without COVID, you can go for daily runs, or just try to walk as much as possible. Your mind and body will be happier and help to make you feel better!
Fitness does not require a gym or any other exercising machine or even any special skill. One can do plenty of simple things in or around the home to get some good exercise.
It does not matter if you want a simple journal. A notebook would be fine. Try to write there the reason why you are there, what you want to accomplish while you are in that country, list the things that you want to send home, and how or what do you feel on such a day.
Keep a list of things about what you want to bring home, about the things that make you happy every day, maybe list some places you want to visit after COVID, a list of the things you have accomplished for the day, and so on...
Take time to spend some video calls with your loved ones during rest days or whenever you can. Technology is an amazing way to stay in touch with people no matter where you are in the world, chat with your family and friends, send emails but most of all video calls feel like you are just home. You can really see them in action, tell stories like you are just sitting right next to each other, share some crazy and laughable stories, funny moments, maybe some sad ones but most importantly make them feel they are loved.
Take time to meditate or pray all the time. God is always faithful with HIS promises. Always turn to HIM to get comfort and be thankful for everything. For sure, you will always be directed to goodness. Pray wherever you are, no time, no place needed. Just talk to God and you will always find the Love and comfort that you are seeking for.
These are the things that you can also give as advice to those who are new in one place to help them combat or at least reduce homesickness. We all know that when you are homesick, it does not go away overnight but doing such things can help you fight it.
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