A few tips here to help with homesickness.
Pack some of your favorite things.
It will be easier to beat your homesickness if you’ve packed some of your favorite things in advance. If you know that this may be a problem for you, or even if you’ll be away from home for a while and don’t know how you’ll feel, it’ll help to pack some of your favorite things from home so you feel more comfortable in your new environment. If you haven’t packed anything that reminds you of home and are suddenly homesick, you can ask a family member to send you a gift package with these things, if it can easily be mailed. Here are some things that you should pack:
- Some photos of your family and loved ones. If you have any photos of a certain place from home that means a lot to you, those can help you feel better too.
- Your favorite stuffed animal, toy, or knickknack from your bedroom. Putting this in your new space can make you feel more at home.
- Something that smells like home, like your favorite pillow or blanket.
- Just remember not to pack too many things that remind you of home. It’s great to have a reminder of home, but you’ll feel even more lonely if you’re reminded of home everywhere you look.
Talk to your loved ones from home.
If you want to feel less homesick, you’ll feel better after hearing some soothing words, or even some funny jokes, from the people you love the most. If your environment allows it, make time for weekly phone or Skype dates with your loved ones. You can also go to an Internet cafe twice a week, if you can, to email your friends and family and to catch up with the people you love.
- Set up a routine for talking to the people you love, even if it’s only once every two or three weeks. This will fill up your day and will give you something to look forward to.
- If you don’t have much access to a phone or Internet, write weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly letters to the people you love. This will help you sort out your thoughts on paper while communicating with the people you care about.
- You can also spend a bit of time on Facebook or other social networking sites to see what your friends are up to. Just don’t spend all of your time there or you won’t have time to be out in the world.
Talk to your loved ones — but not too much.
Talking to the people from home you most care about will make you feel grounded and less lonely, but if you talk to them too much, you’ll be keeping yourself from making new friends and will be so stuck thinking about what everyone is up to at home that you won’t be able to enjoy the world around you.
- Set a limit for how much you will talk to every important person in your life. You can even designate one day of the week as a “catch up day” if that makes it easier for you to say goodbye to the people you love at the end of the conversation.
- You can also wean yourself off of talking to the people from home. You may feel the most homesick in the beginning, when you don’t have many friends and are still adjusting to your new environment, so you can talk to your loved ones a bit more at the beginning.
- But if you talk to your loved ones all the time in the beginning, then everyone around you will be making friends and you’ll be left in the lurch.
Share what you love about home with others.
Longing for home on your own may only be making you feel worse — why not share your love for where you come from with the people around you? This can lift your spirits, help you feel more comfortable talking about home, and it can also help you make some new friends in the process.
- Share your local cuisine with your new friends or acquaintances. Whether you’re studying abroad or just going to college a few hours away, sharing your favorite foods from home with others can make you feel better. You can have a party where you teach a few friends to make the foods you love most from home, or just invite some people over to enjoy your favorite local snacks.
- Share your favorite music with others. If you’re from a place that loves country music, have a small get-together where people play board games, get to know each other, and listen to your favorite tunes. If you loved listening to jazz at home, play some jazz. The music doesn’t have to directly relate to your home as long as it reminds you of being home.
- Tell funny stories about being at home. Though you may be feeling too mopey to laugh, try sharing some funny anecdotes about what you loved most about being at home. This will make everyone laugh and is guaranteed to make you feel better.
- If you’re living in a place with a different native language from yours, try teaching some people a few key phrases in your language. This will be fun, distracting, and educational for your friends.
Do some things you loved to do at home.
Though part of being away from home is doing many new things that you would never think to do in your old environment, you can find a way to do some of the things you loved to do at home if it makes you feel better. As long as you don’t indulge in these activities too much, you’ll be able to alleviate your pain a little bit. Here are some things that you can try:
- Eat your favorite foods from home. If you’re living thousands of miles from home and there’s only one restaurant that serves your local cuisine, try it out. If there aren’t many restaurants to choose from, make your own food.
- Watch some of your favorite TV shows. Though you shouldn’t have a moping marathon of your favorite shows, if you’re prepared with a DVD of your favorite shows, you’ll feel a little better if you watch one of them every few days.
- If you were in a bowling league or book club at home, don’t be shy. Do your research and see if you can find something similar in your new environment. You’ll be able to do the things you love and meet some new people in the process.
Don’t spend too much time trying to replicate home.
Though doing the things that remind you of home, being around the things that remind you of home, and talking to your favorite people from home can help alleviate your pain temporarily, these things may make it harder for you to adjust to your new environment in the long run. If you’re so focused on replicating home, then you won’t be able to notice all of the wonderful things around you.
- Try to set a limit to how many “home” things you do per day, or per week.
- Search online for keepsakes from home so that you can have some local products with you while far away.
Most importantly, just enjoy the adventure you are on.