Dealing with homesickness while studying abroad is very normal but it can be one of the most challenging things to experience at the moment of leaving your home. For that reason, is important to understand how to deal with it in a safe and calm way.
Homesickness is a type of anxiety that is caused by the sensation of being disconnected from familiar people and well-known places. This anxiety can appear from various reasons such as feeling lonely, not being able to adapt to a new environment, or feeling like not having enough support.
What are some ways to overcome homesickness?
Homesickness is not a problem that will disappear overnight, it does take time but fortunately, there are a lot of ways that can be handled and dispersed from a person. After it goes away you will manage to see everything in a clearer light and be more optimistic.
Meet new people
Try to find new people and make some friends along the way, it can be people that are in your class, work or neighbourhood. It is essential that you connect with others because loneliness can increase homesickness, anxiety, depression, etc. Always make an effort to be open-minded and grab every opportunity you have to socialize.
Being in another country means that your chances of finding people from different cultures are higher which could lead to a lot of people that have experienced homesickness as well. Take advantage of that because people can give you a hand in the future in many ways, not just emotionally, but personally and professionally too.
Build new routines
It is important that you build new routines in order to leave the ones that you were used to at home. Try to visit restaurants, tourist places, museums, parks, etc. Create new exercise routines if you like or go hiking and experience the scenery, nature and wildlife that the country offers. Change schedules if necessary, start going to bed early or late depending on your time and preferences, do things differently because it might help.
Keep yourself busy
It is amazing to have time to spare, however, this can cause you to be more lonely and homesick, for that reason you might need to maintain yourself distracted as much as you can. There are plenty of things you can do while enjoying the time, for instance, drawing, binge-watching movies or series, doing exercise, finding a new hobby, playing games, etc.
The more free time you have, the more likely you will have time to think about old things you used to do and miss them more. Organize your time well, create schedules and check how much free time you have aside from your classes or work.
Do extracurricular activities
There are many activities you can do and many more that you can learn new things from. Besides doing new activities can make you feel more motivated and adapted to the city you are living in, plus you can meet new people in any type of activity that requires teamwork or contact.
Some examples of what you can do are volunteer work that can give you experience, you can start practicing a new sport in a club, gym or by yourself, start learning a new language, do yoga or fitness exercise, etc. Remember that all these activities can offer unique skills and help you to keep your mind busy as well.
Put aside social media while homesick
Social media is a great way to keep up with the world and know what is happening even with family and friends. However, seeing all this stuff can make your homesickness worse, it is challenging to put your devices aside, but at some point, it might be necessary for your own health.
Try to look and focus on other types of content instead of following what friends or family are doing or showing on the social platforms. In other words, limit yourself and organize a certain amount of time daily to spend on social media.
What are some resources that can help with homesickness?
There are many resources out there, however, some of the most popular and effective that you can use to overcome your homesickness and maintain good mental health are:
- Calm (Meditation and sleep app)
- BetterHelp (Therapy and counselling service)
- Headspace (Meditation and sleep app)
- Breathwrk (Breathing techniques app)
- KeepMeSafe for Acsenda students (Mental health support program)
If you want more information about mental health, please contact us.