When going abroad for a year or maybe longer you may get homesick at some point. Here are 10 tips to help you!
First and foremost… IT IS OKAY TO BE HOMESICK! It is normal, it is human and completely okay. That does not mean you are not appreciative of this journey that you are on, it just means that you are missing home. For this post I have also made a youtube video which you can watch, or if you prefer to read I have included the tips below.
#1 – Keep Busy
My first tip is to keep busy. That doesn’t mean you have to plan every single second of your day but just to have things to look forward to, so you have something to do everyday. This could be as simple as going for a walk with friends, it doesn’t have to be big bold plans, but just so you have something to look forward to. Me and my friends have a weekly coffee Starbucks date on Tuesdays we’ll look forward to, and then we try to go out for dinner once a week so we always have these plans.
#2 – Explore
There are so many new things – you’re in a new city, a new place – it’s so exciting! So go and explore the area, and make sure it becomes your city that you live in. Look online, I know covid has closed some things, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot to go and explore.
#3 – Make friends
When you first get here find some friends. This could be through your LCC group, facebook or instagram. I have been so lucky to have made a support system for myself so early on, I know exactly who I can talk to and I have a lot of people that I can talk to. If one is busy I can talk to someone else or whatever, I know there are people that are going to be there for me and I can make plans with them. I can tell them if I’m not feeling OK, and it’s OK to share your feelings!
#4 – Tell your Host Parents
I know it can be difficult I know it can be maybe a weird situation just to say “I just want to let you know that I’m not doing that well this week, I’m missing home a lot.” Maybe something happened at home and that is why you’re missing them or maybe you just want a hug from your mom, but that doesn’t matter – tell them so that they know! I told my host parents last weekend, “this might be a bit of a tough week for me” and they totally understood it, they were so helpful so it’s definitely better than you tell them instead of just keeping it inside, and I really hope that they will help you as well.
#5 – Cook Something from Home
I also got the tip cook something from your home country! This can be fun because you can do it with the kids, with your host parents, with family to cook something from your home country. I was really craving this one dish from my home country that my mom used to make all the time and I just couldn’t find the ingredients in a regular store. I went to my host mom I told her that I really wanted to make this dish but I can’t find the ingredients anywhere and then she was one said “hey maybe this store has them” and guess what they did.
#6 – Make your room feel homey
I have so many pictures, on my bedside tables and a whole wall full of photos and everything that I was given by some of my friends before I left. And I have lots of little reminders of home but not too much to overwhelm myself with. To make your room feel like home you can also bring blankets, pillows, decorations, whatever you want.
#7 – Take a break from Social Media
If you are feeling really homesick it is good to take a break from social media. Life at home carries on, we all knew that when we were going abroad, but it’s hard sometimes to your whole friend group doing things without you there. So sometimes it’s just better to switch off turn it off and just have a break from social media so that you don’t get terrible FOMO, it is real!
#8 – Hobbies
Hobbies are also really important for homesickness, I have some hobbies like running, cooking, baking , and music. I can shut my mind off as much as possible and not think about everything that I was making me homesick or stressing me out. So find your hobbies, find out what works. Maybe you had one back home that you can also do here.
#9 – Facetime/ Call
Obviously if you are feeling really really homesick it’s probably not the best choice because you don’t want to make it worse, but it can be nice just to really quickly say hello, especially family that supports you back home. They will reassure you why you are doing this, and that you can do it. But it can also be good just to kind of leave it for a day and say hey I won’t be calling today because sometimes it can make you feel a bit worse, but I think that’s up to you personally to know.
#10 – Treat Yourself
If you want that $8.00 drink from Starbucks that you wanted to try the whole time, go get it! It’s OK to treat yourself if you are feeling down, that doesn’t mean it’s an automatic fix but hey can’t hurt. Or if you wanted to do a bath with like a really luxurious bath bomb that you want to try out, go do it, relax! It’s OK treat yourself just do what you need to do to feel better in that moment even if it’s going to McDonald’s to get like 20 chicken Nuggets I don’t care no judgment here.
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