Read all about homesickness in this article!
Feeling homesick is an emotional state that may affect your sleeping habits, appetite, concentration, and general health. It manifests when you’re far away from your family or any environment where you naturally feel comfortable.
In reality, homesickness makes you feel sad, puts you in a bad mood, or even makes you depressed. Feeling homesick is missing your regular routine and your loved ones.
However, this longing in some cases can be positive. A study by the University of Southampton confirmed this and stated, “Homesickness leads to positive feelings, increases self-esteem, fosters social relationships, and relieves existential angst.”
Nonetheless, this feeling can be very unpleasant if you don’t know how to manage it. In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about feeling homesick.
Although all people are susceptible to episodes of homesickness at any age, young children tend to be more vulnerable due to the following reasons:
- Children and teens are generally not as emotionally independent.
- Young people don’t have a lot of experience in dealing with new situations.
Symptoms of homesickness
Homesickness can affect you cognitively, behaviorally, emotionally, and physically:
1. At a cognitive level
- Thinking constantly about your home.
- Negative and inappropriate thoughts.
- Idealizing your home.
2. At a behavioral level
- Loss of concentration.
- Frequent crying episodes.
- Difficulty sleeping and eating.
- Withdrawing from your social life.
- Inability to get into a comfortable routine.
3. At an emotional level
- Mood swings.
- Lack of energy and motivation.
4. At a physical level
- Muscle tension.
Five ways to deal with homesickness
Homesickness symptoms can be quite bothersome. Here are five tips that can help you deal with them:
1. Go out and explore
The more familiar you are with your new environment, the less time it’ll take you to adapt. We recommend that you participate in local activities. The sooner you start feeling at home, the sooner your homesickness will go away!
2. Keep in touch with your loved ones
Nowadays, there are many different ways of keeping in touch and staying connected with your friends and family. Even if you’re abroad, these technologies allow you to make phone calls, send text messages, or video chat with your loved ones.
So anytime you’re feeling lonely, connect with friends or family. You’ll notice how fast those bad feelings inside you disappear after a simple phone call!
3. Follow your passions
Living in another country doesn’t mean you have to forget about your hobbies. For example, if you like to ride your bike or run and the weather allows it, spend some time doing these types of activities even if you don’t have anyone to do them with at the beginning.
On the other hand, practicing your hobbies can be a good way to connect with new people. There are thousands of ways of finding other people with your same interests.
4. Limit your use of social networks
If you get up every day and the first thing you do is catch up on what your friends and family post on social media, you’ll definitely feel homesick.
That’s why it’s good to be oblivious to your friends’ posts. Remember that you need to disconnect from at least a part of your previous life to be able to connect with a new place.
5. Have a positive attitude
Feeling homesick means having many negative feelings. However, don’t let your sadness and discomfort control your mind. Be conscious of the fact that this is a temporary stage and that things will get better as you get used to your new surroundings.
Thinking positively is the key to getting used to your new environment since, among other things, it’ll be much easier for you to make new friends and be more proactive. Positive moods encourage you to go out and actively try to make connections with other people.
Finally, keep in mind that if you’ve changed your daily routine and have left your comfort zone, you have to take time to get used to that change. We’re sure you’ll settle in eventually.