Photo by Natasha Britney on Instagram
You’ve finally moved out of your hometown, embarking on new endeavors. Maybe it’s in a new city or country, or maybe even a new continent. You may feel emotions of excitement or feelings of joy, but it'll be impossible to avoid one thing; feeling homesick. It’s exciting at first, but eventually, you start missing mummy dearest, or even the postman that waves at you every Monday. Being away from home can make you sad. It’s okay to feel down. In fact, it is completely normal and valid! You left the place you grew up in, where the people you know marked tons of memories on every sidewalk.
This is the time when you are at your lowest. Depression kicks in and you lose yourself a little. You realize your self-esteem has dropped and you just don't ‘feel like it’ anymore. It’s okay to drown in your sorrows for a bit, you can stay in bed all day, or cry looking back at Snapchat memories; but what’s important is that you let that cloud come and GO. Once you’ve let it all out, it’s crucial that you put yourself together. Getting back on your feet is necessary, as you will slowly need to adapt to your current situation.
Photo by Natasha Britney on Instagram
Ways Being Away Can Affect Your Whole Being…
Your experience. It’s important to be able to cope with feelings of unfamiliarity. Often times, you’ll feel uncomfortable, and too scared to try anything new. Experience new things for your personal growth. The more familiar you feel with your surroundings, the less you think about home.
Homesickness is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You should try to lower your expectations, and be open to a new experience. Expectations will ruin your key to feeling positive. If you tell yourself you're going to be sad here, you’ll most probably end up willing it into existence.
Next, you need to stop living in the past. Don’t start wishing you could go back to the way things were, because chances are, it’s not coming back. Instead, learn to appreciate the present; like your new-found freedom. The key is to spend less time communicating with people back home and spend more time finding new friends. But that doesn’t mean ignoring people back home, it just means that you should invest MORE time looking for new friends.
It is overwhelming. One of the first things you could do when you arrive in the new place is to distract yourself by exploring the area you’re in. Since this is going to be your home for a while, learn more about it! Look for restaurants and hangout places near your accommodation. Have a chat with the locals and visit the museum or libraries; you’ll never know what you can find. On the other hand, if you’re a social person and have already found some new friends, seize the opportunity to go hangout with them! And here’s my own personal advice: Don’t pass on a house party. House parties are by far the most fun and sure-fire way for you to meet new people. The more you get to know your surroundings, the more comfortable you will be.
However, if home is where you really need to be, go ahead and bring home to you. A solution that works is for you to bring some of your favorite nostalgia-inducing games to your new home, and playing it with your new friends. If that isn’t enough, bring along your old photo album, and show your old pictures to new people. It’ll be a good conversation starter, and it will give you an opportunity to talk it out. Who knows? They might have some advice to share with you too. Another method that comes to mind is inspired by someone I knew. She missed home so much that she cooked one of her mum’s recipes; just to feel like she was back in her hometown. Don’t be afraid to give your mum a call to ask for some recipes, and have the new place smell like home for a day.
Create New Memories and Traditions...
Homesickness comes from the ever-familiar love back home. So, what you’ll need to do is to establish a sense of security in your new home, and that is to stop thinking it’s a “new place” & start making it “your place”. Decorate your living space the way you like! It’s your home. And for the first time, you can actually do that without mum nagging! Take this as an opportunity to truly find yourself and discover your own personal tastes.
You’re an adult now, a person of your own thoughts. Start creating your own little traditions; like making it a habit to go to the mall every Saturday, or having your own home-made facials on Sunday mornings. Start establishing a new routine. And if it starts to feel lonely, surround yourself with new faces! Or if you’re not exactly a people-person, you can opt to adopt a pet (provided the place you’re staying at allows pets). Some plants could also do the trick! Pick up some new habits and watch yourself flourish.
Regardless of how old you are, there is no shame in feeling homesick. It’s a completely normal and very human feeling, because home is where the heart is and everyone yearns to feel secure. With some practice and adjustments here and there, you will be able find the beauty in being on your own; and once you do, you’ll realize; “Hey! This is easier than I thought.”
By: Natasha Britney