No matter which way you slice it change is hard. Leaving the familiar for something new isn’t easy at all. The novelty of adventure and being somewhere new tends to rub off after a while. Replaced with the yearning for your sense of normality.
Homesickness at its core is the longing for the familiar. Which is a feeling I know myself all too well ( and yup I’m about to get a little in my emotions so prepare yourself).
A little over four years ago I moved to Australia from London, England with my family. I was fourteen at the time and for the most part majorly excited for the adventure. I knew I would miss my big extended family (that I’m super close with) and wonderful close friends a lot, but I was mainly super eager for a new chapter.
Although I quickly fell in love with living in Australia. I wasn’t really prepared for the homesickness when it struck. It came out of nowhere, was crippling to say the least and threw me into a major funk for a while. Whether it was nostalgia stirred up by an old diary entry or a song that I have a fond memories came on shuffle (Girls by Destiny’s Child) , it all caused my heart to hurt.
Adjusting to a new life was challenging. Although I was super blessed to find a group of friends quickly at school. It was hard coming from a group of friends that I had amazing connections with and knew since year 7. To having to start from scratch.
I’ve learnt so much about how to combat homesickness. So I thought I would share three ways to help you combat it. If there is one thing I hope you take away from this post. It’s that homesickness is very normal and you’re not alone. Everyone goes through it at some point. It’s all part of a transition period of growth into something new.
Honestly I don’t think there’s a magical overnight quick fix for how to combat homesickness. As we are humans not machines we can’t just switch our emotions off. It simply just takes time and I can tell you it does gets better (as cliche as it sounds). Even if the situation doesn’t feel any easier, you do get better at coping with it.
In hindsight of that major funk period I am thankful for what homesickness gave me: strength I didn’t realise I had in myself. To pick myself up after falling down and realise change doesn’t have to be a bad thing.Change isn’t a bad thing. It never has been.
So here are my 3 ways to help you combat homesickness!
Take It Day by Day
Approaching the day with this mindset has been immensely powerful for me in more ways than one. The taking things day by day mindset automatically alleviates the pressure of imagining how hard it will be to cope with things in the long run.
This lesson stops you from overwhelming yourself. As all you need to do is simply take it day by day, tomorrow will resolve itself when you get there. As well as this on the days when one day seems a bit too much, you can alternate to I’m just taking it “moment by moment”. I love this mindset as it takes something as difficult as change and make it’s suddenly manageable
Don’t Get Too Connected
Although technology is an incredible in which to stay connected to family and friends. It is possible to tip the scales to being too connected. Settling into a new place can be challenging enough in itself. If you are constantly refreshing your Instagram feed. FaceBook stalking your friends back home ( don’t deny it lol) and calling your family five times a day to keep up to date with their lives.
You really aren’t going to make it any easier for yourself (most likely worse). If you’re constantly focused on the life you used to live, your not going to be focused on the one right in front of you. My advice? Stop refreshing your Snapchat stories, put your phone down and go out into the real world and live.
Try Something New
Join clubs. Try new hobbies. Meet new people. I must admit when I was told this advice it seemed easier said than done. I found it so much easier to stay in my comfort zone and live in my own little bubble. It was only when I realised I was already outside my comfort zone. I was already uncomfortable. What was a couple more steps? That’s when I actually surprised myself. I found that it helped so much to combat homesickness.
As it forced me to be present and live in the now, plus I was doing something I was actually enjoyed. It helped create a structure in my new life, something new to look forward to, meet new people and got me used to life in a new place. Proving the saying true, “the magic happens when you step outside your comfort zone”.
Have you ever had to deal with feeling homesick?