Maybe you remember what it was like to be away at camp and be homesick? You feel an emotional distress and all you want to do is call home/see your family/be in your own room. For those who travel, you might feel a flash of homesickness on short trips; where you just want the comfort of being able to order a meal in a language you understand. For those who are gone for long periods of time or perhaps have moved to a new country, you know the acute stress that can overwhelm you and ruin your day. At first everything seems great, interesting, and hilarious, but then you start your downward spiral into frustration, annoyance, and homesickness. The bright side is that this phase doesn’t need to last long.
Here are ten way to help you deal with homesickness and get you back to enjoying your trip or new country.
- Be a tourist – go to all the main sites and attractions. Fill your days learning about the culture, the history, the locals, and the food. Keep yourself busy learning.
- Maintain your ‘at-home’ habits – If you are used to going for a run every morning, having a coffee at your local café, etc. start doing that in your new country. Get back into a regular routine.
- Join something new– whether it is a gym, a language or cooking class, an expat community, anything that involves a group. You will start making new friends and connections.
- Indulge in one of your favourites—perhaps it’s your favourite book, your favourite meal, or your favourite movie. Do something that is calming and familiar.
- Find somebody from your home country – there is usually someone from your country that will be where you are. If you are in hotels, hostels, expat groups, etc. find that person and ask them to hang out. You can bond over missing Tim Hortons/ Tim Tams/ Dunkin Donuts, etc. You should still make the effort to have foreign friends, but it is nice to talk with someone who understands where you came from and how it feels to be away.
- Do something you’ve never done before – get an adrenaline rush. Sign up for bungee jumping, paragliding, sky diving, etc. Some activity that will get your heart pumping and your adrenaline flowing will distract you from your homesickness for days.
- Exercise– find new running routes, exercise classes, you name it. Exercise is a stress reliever, an endorphin releaser, and alleviates anxiety. It’s a win-win!
- Make your new home comfortable – put up a picture of your family/friends/pets. Get yourself a new favourite blanket, coffee cup, book, etc. and slowly your new place will start to feel like home.
- Eat healthy – load up on fruits, vegetables, and water! You might want to reach for those cookies, chocolates, etc. but your body needs nutrition. When your body feels good, your mind feels good.
- Don’t be discouraged – adjusting, settling in, and getting comfortable takes time. Get out and explore, learn, and be happy that you are getting an experience to travel.
What are your tips to overcome homesickness?