Moving to a new country or town can be an exciting and life-changing experience, but it can also be a challenging one. One of the most common challenges faced by people who move to a new country is homesickness. Being homesick can be a difficult emotion to deal with, but there are ways to manage it and start to feel more at home in your new country. Having never been away from my home for more than 2 weeks at a time, moving to Dubai was a complete life change. I struggled a lot with homesickness whilst I was getting settled, 8 months later I still do find myself missing Glasgow, but not as much as previously.
Below are my tips on how to help deal with homesickness.
Let yourself be homesick.
Let yourself be homesick, it’s only natural. Do not try and brush it off or bottle it up, acknowledge that you are homesick and let it out. Being homesick doesn’t make you weak or soft, if you bottle it up or brush it off then it will only get worse. It’s nothing to feel guilty about so don’t beat yourself up over it. Set a timer on your phone and have some downtime, look at old pictures, or read old messages, once the timer chimes, it’s time to move on, even if you aren’t ready.
Keep yourself busy and make plans.
When you feel like you are missing home, make some plans with your friends, go exploring your new area, visit the shopping malls or even the supermarket. I would look for things I could get back home and then look at the price for comparison. I would often find myself staring hard at the Chocolate bars to determine if they were the same size as back home. Finding something which I could get back home would make me realize that I’m not all too far from home.
Keep in Touch.
When I got to Dubai, I didn’t call home for days because I would miss home more by seeing everyone. After calling a few times It got easier, video calls made it seem like I was there and not so far which really helped. Call home as often as you can, it makes it easier and feel like you’re not so far. Try not to go more than 1 day without keeping in touch with your family at home, the longer you leave it, the harder it gets. Schedule a time every day to call and make it part of a routine
Exercise is not only great for the body, but it does wonders for your mind also. It is a release of endorphins and serotonin that instantly uplifts your mood. You don’t need to go to a gym, you can go for a brisk walk or a run, anything to get your blood pumping. 30 minutes of exercise will be more than enough to change your mood. If you are feeling homesick and don’t want to sit around moping, then get your blood pumping by exercising.
Explore your new Surroundings.
After moving, I would feel lost. I was feeling homesick because I had no idea where I was, everything was new and alien to me. The roads were different, and the house designs and supermarkets were all new to me, I could have moved to Mars, and I would have been none the wiser. To combat feeling like a stranger in my own community, I would go for walks on different routes and take note of where everything was, this helped me find a gym, hairdressers, and a new supermarket. Make the most of the weather and get your steps in.
Start your new life
While keeping in touch with your old life it is equally important to focus on your new life and what is ahead of you. Start building a new life in your new country, join clubs or groups in which you are interested, this can be a great way to make friends and have a support system in your new country. Try volunteering or taking a language class for beginners, you will meet people in the same boat as yourself.
Adjusting to a new country or even a new town takes time, so be patient and do not be too hard on yourself. It’s perfectly normal to experience the highs and lows as you adapt to your new life. Remember that homesickness will pass with time, and you will start to feel more at home in your new destination whether it takes weeks or months.
In conclusion, being homesick after relocating to a new town or country is completely normal and common. Everyone will experience it at some point after moving, but you can manage it with time and effort. By staying connected with loved ones, making new friends, and familiarizing yourself with your new surroundings you will start to feel at home in your new town or country. Just be patient and remember that adjusting anywhere is a process that takes time.