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For those who have left home in order to further their studies, an endeavor in new employment or to make a new life, one of the major challenges you will most likely face is homesickness. It’s surely a part of the process and when confronted make for stronger personalities. Though for some, it becomes overbearing as you frequently obsess about thoughts of missing your loved ones and home comforts. And in these cases homesickness typically leads to depression, anxiety and lack of concentration. No matter how much you wish to return home or pass the time in your room, utilize these strategies to help you cope. As you see your new environment in a more positive light and use this opportunity for your personality to flourish.
Stay Connected with Family and Friends
Make it a point to call home regularly rather than solely keeping to social for contact. Don’t let time drag between contact either for too long as you may end up blowing your bubble. Allow time to share your weekly events and hear that all needed pep talk to keep you on track. Though phone calls are much needed it has its limitations too where you’ll find to a certain degree that your loved one’s may not comprehend your entire experience.
You can close this gap further by sending tangible items such as gifts or collages and developed photos (which involve a different type of interaction than posting online) that helps express your thoughts more than a simple phone call could. And hey look at it this way you’re probably making a deeper connection with them now than if you would if you had never left home.
Take a Break from Social Media
Social media is a great way to keep in touch but checking it often has its fall pits too. It can be a trigger of homesickness as you watch others enjoying activities you may have access to no longer. It can begin the cycle of nostalgia where we long for that same experience again and/or dwell on “there’s no place like home” syndrome. By taking a break, you refocus that energy into exploring your new environment with its sounds, sights, smells and people and thus appreciate your current position more.
Hang Out with Others in a Similar Situation
Finding someone who can relate to your situation really can help release tension. You are probably busting to blurt all your feelings out but with a relief your friend will just know what you mean. No more explaining yourself, choosing localized words, neutralizing your accent, nothing you have to be cautious of and take extra effort for them to understand. Gossip on the latest celebrities, support your sports team, talk about the latest news from back home… just relax and have a good time 😀 . Though you’d further benefit from keeping a mix of friends for that spice of life. Forming cliques are easy to do with people of your own culture, however, try to expand your horizons otherwise it only restricts you from making the most of your new home.
Eat Food you Enjoy
Explore what your new culture has to offer, you may surprise yourself and fall in love with its cuisines or at least grow fond towards a particular dish. When everything else fails you can look to these types of foods as a ‘pick me up’. And also to help you ride you over, (if you are lucky) most countries will have your specialized foods from your homeland. And where not bring a stash along with you. It’ll be a treat that really helps especially in a low moment. Warning: keep note of your overall eating habit, cravings and binging are commonly associated with homesickness. So be sure to take care of your health yet enjoy too.
Don’t Lose Your Identity
You may feel pressured to merge with the new culture to avoid looking and being treated as the odd one out. Dressing alike, eating and socializing will help you to assimilate. It’s not a bad thing because then only you feel a part of your surroundings but at the same time be in touch with your own culture. Keeping up to date with latest happenings, enjoying home food, dressing (at least at some point), placing sentimental items in your room, keeping up the activities you once did allow you to not lose yourself. It will make your new home more familiar and comforting.
Hiding the problem will not solve it but can help momentarily. Another strategy to divert your mind is to keep busy on your mission be it studies or work. And if you don’t have something, in particular, make it. A good place to start is to explore your own town or city, learn more about what it has to offer. Join a group of like-minded people or work on a project at home. The main point is to keep busy and better on that’s goal worthwhile. Being caught up in homesickness will only waste your days away than being production at all.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
It’s nice to have your comforts although by only doing those that are familiar doesn’t allow for you to grow and adjust as well. Build up some courage and push yourself to try new things and experiences. It will be terrifying looking at the big picture, so take it one step at a time. Every week explore something new your town or city has to offer, make an inquiry at a club for joining dates and take up that offer to this weekend’s party. Make them small enough that they are manageable to achieve. And Soon your confidence will go up and become bolder too to take on more and bigger things.
Appreciate Your New Environment
While you are self-absorbed in missing home, you are missing out on all the fun. There must have been a good reason you moved in the first place, right? And that opportunity was too good to let go. Now look at all the obstacles that you have faced so far and one you may have never imagined, so far it has already made you a better person. And there’s still more where that’s coming from 🙂 . And not to forget the interesting people you have met without would not add a rich value to your experience.
I myself have bouts of homesickness even after 8 years of living in India (what can I say home is home after all), but without these strategies, I wouldn’t have made it 🙂 . I wish you the best on your new endeavors 🙂 . If you like you can contact me on the comments below or Whatsapp me on +91 95 06 505059
Until next time.