Being homesick can be a common problem for people, especially for expats who have moved abroad to a new country. Being away from friends, family and familiar sights can make you feel sad and anxious.
What is Homesickness?
Homesickness in adults can be a part of the international moving process. It’s a form of anxiety that occurs when you are disconnected from friends and family, and when pulled away from your daily routine to a new environment especially if you have to learn a new language and culture. It can all be too disorientating and confusing, leading to that expat loneliness and that homesick feeling.
How to deal with Homesickness?
If you are an expat that has just moved abroad and are feeling homesick, you may feel like it is difficult to overcome. However, these Top Tips should help you beat your homesickness and feel more settled:
- Make your new space feel like home.
Redecorate, if you can. It will help take your mind off things and give you a positive project to concentrate on. Simply adding some home comforts in the form of cushions, photo frames, and ornaments to make your accommodation feel more homely.
- Avoid excessive contact with those back home.
As hard as that may sound, spending too much time on Facetime or Skype with friends and family can make you miss them more or feel that you are missing out on the old familiar activities like going on days out or for meals altogether.
- Don’t stalk your friends and family on social media!
Moving away from everyone is hard, but it will be harder if you are constantly looking at their profiles on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. Fear of missing out (FOMO) can be hard but you’ve got a whole new country or city to explore so why not go out and explore!
- Get out and about!
Join a local group, sports club, book club or choir, or even arrange drinks or coffee with a few people from work or other expats to get to know them better. Making new friends will help beat expat loneliness plus you can create a list of places you want to discover with them, such as that coffee shop or bakery, that view from the nearby hills or that local market or fair.
- Learn the lingo.
Not speaking the local dialect can make you feel isolated. Take the time to learn a few words and phrases and give them a try when out and about – you’ll be surprised at how accommodating people are when you make a little effort to speak their language.
It’s a fact, exercise releases positive endorphins which instantly make you feel happy. Joining a local gym, tennis or running group or walking club will not only help keep you fit, but help you to easily meet new people with similar interests, and get a release of endorphins.
- Try writing a journal, diary or blog.
Some may find it a childish activity but if you haven’t got anyone to talk to then writing your feelings down can be cathartic. Writing about the positive experiences you are having in your new home and place of work will help reinforce the good aspects of your move. You can also use it as a way of communicating with friends and family, plus you might even earn some extra advertising revenue if your blog is successful!
- Choose the right overseas shipping company.
To help you avoid homesickness from the beginning, it’s best to choose a global moving company, such as GMS, to handle your move from the start. The wealth of additional relocation services that we can supply you with will help prepare you for your move and allow you to quickly settle in your new country, reducing the chance of homesickness to the bare minimum!
And remember – feeling homesick is not a bad thing, it is just nature’s way of reminding you that you miss loved ones, friends and family – which is fine. The main thing is to not let homesickness stop you from enjoying all the new experiences and opportunities that your move abroad has given you.