Homesickness is an integral part of moving to a new country and finding comfort can be hard, but there are ways you can cope.
Communication with those around you is vitally important during times of transition, particularly if homesickness has set in and you feel alone. Sharing feelings can make others understand the difficulty you are going through and can reduce feelings of isolation.
1. Talk to a friend.
Homesickness can be an uncomfortable reality of living abroad. If symptoms of homesickness begin to interfere with daily life, speak with your professor or counselor at your university for advice.
Staying isolated, skipping meals or not getting enough rest will only serve to prolong homesickness in the short term. With time comes adaption; homesickness will eventually vanish with time.
2. Go for a walk.
Homesickness can manifest physically in various ways, including an increase in appetite and difficulty sleeping, or general feelings of malaise. Distracting yourself with exercise and taking good care of your body are effective strategies for alleviating such symptoms.
Not spending too much time alone will only exacerbate your homesickness, so make an effort to get out more. Take a walk around campus or meet up with new people – whatever it takes!
3. Take a nap.
An afternoon nap can help ease homesickness, especially if you’re feeling stressed or exhausted. Just set an alarm and select a quiet area; long naps could interfere with nighttime rest so it is recommended that they are limited to 1pm or earlier.
Long naps include slow wave sleep, which may leave you feeling fatigued afterward. Try to limit them to 20 minutes for optimal results.
4. Make a list of things you miss about home.
If you miss home and family, surround yourself with things that remind you of them. Perhaps skyping with friends and relatives or decorating your room with photos and memorabilia might help.
Do not spend too much time scrolling social media. Isolation will only heighten homesickness! Instead, get out and discover something new!
5. Keep yourself busy.
Staying busy can help to take your mind off being homesick. Schedule day trips, study in the library instead of your room or even consider getting a part-time job to meet new people.
Find activities you enjoy doing, like joining a club or society that aligns with your interests, to make Lawrence feel like home – you might even meet new people this way!
6. Make a list of things you love about your new home.
Homesickness can be a common experience; however, remember the many positive aspects of your new environment.
Be sure to stay active, rather than sitting in your room all day – this will only extend homesickness further. Explore your city or campus, meet new people, and discover things you enjoy about your new home.
7. Schedule a visit.
Everyone gets homesick from time to time – even the most independent and outgoing students. Why not invite some friends or family to visit? They’ll be excited about seeing your new place while you show them around?
Create a regular facetime or zoom session with loved ones in order to keep them up-to-date on your life without being overwhelming. This also gives you an opportunity to discuss any negative emotions that might be bothering you.
8. Go to the library.
Homesickness is a natural part of adapting to new surroundings. If it becomes severe enough to interfere with daily functioning or the student experiences depression, they should seek mental health support immediately.
Therapy can be an invaluable solution to homesickness. BetterHelp offers students access to licensed therapists who can provide professional guidance for coping with feelings of homesickness. Get your free assessment started now.
9. Learn a new language.
One effective way to ease homesickness is learning a foreign language. Tune into podcasts in your target language, read children’s books in that tongue, sing songs with lyrics in it and experiment writing in it – these all can all help!
Focus on nonfiction books that use vocabulary you will encounter daily and choose topics of personal interest; for instance, if technology news intrigues you, find websites in your target language that cover it.
10. Practice mindfulness.
Homesickness is an expected part of adapting to a new environment, yet can feel like grief due to its reminders of loss of home and daily comforts.
Be patient and know that homesickness will pass. Utilize mindfulness techniques to calm both mind and body. If severe homesickness persists, seeking professional therapy might help assess its symptoms and determine if an underlying mental health condition exists.