Being Homesick - Woman sitting on bench

Being homesick is something I’m very familiar with since I live over 4000 miles away from my family. Sure some days are easier than others, but we all know that certain days are very difficult; days like birthdays, holidays, or during an illness. Let me show you how to fix being homesick quickly.

Being Homesick Affects Adults Too

A lot of people have this misconception that homesickness is only something kids and young adults experience, while the truth tells a different story. Grown adults suffer from homesickness just as much as any other individual -unrelated to age, gender, or cultural background.-

But what does being homesick actually mean?

Let’s look at the dictionary

Dictionary.com states that homesick is an adjective and means “sad or depressed from a longing for home or family while away from them for a long time.’

Now, I’m not sure I 100% agree with the “for a long time,” but the rest hits the nail on its head.

Being homesick includes feelings like:

  • sadness
  • depression
  • disconnection
  • loneliness
  • hopelessness
  • anxiety

These feelings are all negative feelings, which means it negatively affects people’s mental health. I wanted to show you that being homesick shouldn’t be taken lightly. So let’s do something about it, but first…

What type of people who are homesick exist?

There are three different types of people who are homesick.

  1. The person who tries to hold onto everything they have left behind. But can’t focus on their new/current life.
  2. And the person who avoids “home” at all costs. But suddenly feels disconnected.
  3. The person who keeps busy, but keeps checking in with friends and family back home. These people are able to move on without disconnecting from “what they have left behind.”

There is a huge possibility that you changed from one of these types of people to another one. In fact, that happened to me in the past. I will explain further below.

What type of “being homesick” person are you?

Let’s evaluate these different types before to find the right coping strategies that will quickly work for you.

The first type

  • The person who tries to hold onto everything they have left behind. But can’t focus on their new/current life.

I’ve met many women in the past who were homesick and desperately tried to hold onto everything that was considered “home.” Which led to a lot of anxiety/depression and prevented them from focusing on their current life.

They called someone at “home” and went through pictures on a daily basis. And they thought about “how much they want to be back home” throughout the day. “Home” seemed to be all they can focus on.

Strategy to fight “being homesick” for Person #1

The person who can’t seem to let go:

Being Homesick - Woman holding a phone

I 100% get you. Not being home with family while raising your own family is tough. Every time you get in a fight with your husband or one of your kids is sick you wish to be back home. And for some people, it might go even deeper and they wish to be home all the time.

But there is a reason that you are here?!

A reason you can’t go back…

Am I right? So, let’s learn to make the best out of it!

Find a group

I want you to spend one hour of your day to find an activity outside of your house and work. You can use Facebook, Eventbrite, Meetup, etc. to find something a group that interests you.

I prefer Meetup for finding groups that share the same interests as me. You can find workout groups, sewing groups, language groups, etc. You might be surprised by how many different groups you will find in your area.

Events

Join a group that you like and go to one of their events. Yes, even if you are an introvert.

What’s the purpose of this you might think? You need to get out of the house. Make connections! This is your new life. Experience what’s around you!

You won’t regret it.

Being homesick can lead to Depression

Now, if you can’t get yourself to get out of the house because you are too sad you might want to consult a doctor. As we learned being homesick can lead to depression and anxiety.

Not sure if you are depressed? Watch the video by UW Medicine below:

You are not alone in this!

However, not every person how is homesick is depressed, but there are some people who suffer from depression. And I want you to be aware of it. This is not uncommon and you don’t need to be alone in this.

The Second Type

The person who avoids “home” at all costs. But suddenly feels disconnected.

Being homesick - Woman sitting in a window

I used to be the second type right after I moved to the US because I didn’t call my family as much as I should have. I was too busy starting a new life in a new county or so I thought.

Maybe not calling them helped me to forget what I had left.

That wasn’t the best call on my end. And my people back home deserved better.

Strategie to fight “being homesick” for Person #2

Phone calls/Email

Call your family. One day a week find some time to call your family. You will thank me later.

Don’t have time for a phone call? Send an email!

I know it’s hard to move to another country and being without your family. But don’t punish them. They already lost you once in a way… You get what I’m saying.

Avoiding them at all cost might help with the homesickness, but it will lead you to feel disconnected from them. Believe me, that is not a good feeling and you won’t be able to make up for the lost time.

Try to call them once a week! You got this.

Finding yourself getting homesick after following this step? Check out the strategies under the third type below.

The Third Type

The person who keeps busy, but keeps checking in with friends and family back home. These people are able to move on without disconnecting from “what they have left behind.”

I believe this is the healthiest type of person who is experiencing homesickness.

Being homesick - group of friends

Yes, missing your family but staying in touch with them while living your life. Yay! That’s wonderful.

Strategie to fight “being homesick” for Person #3

Walk

Go for a nice long walk or hike. Listen to music if you like. But do me a favor… Open your eyes!

Soak in what nature has to offer to you.

Going on long walks with my dog and my kids A.L.W.A.Y.S. makes me feel better. It clears my head and for some reason it makes me appreciate everything I have including my family back home.

Plus, the fresh air and exercise are good for you.

Go out with friends

Don’t have any yet? Check out the strategy for the first type. Meetup and Eventbrite are great resources to meet new people. Likeminded people!

Or take a class at a local community college. Or how about a cooking class? I met so many of my friends while taking Art classes.

Anyway, make friends! Humans need to socialize.

Now, for the fortunate people how can skip that task of finding a new friend… Call your friend and meet your friend for dinner. Get out of that house! Try a new restaurant or plan an activity together such as joining a paint night. Try to get creative to add some extra fun!

Find your tribe

If that doesn’t do the trick create your own group on Facebook. Wait, what?

When I first became a mom I needed other mothers who are from the same background as me. So, I created my own German group. Best thing I’ve ever done!! I did find a few German mom groups in my area, but they were too far away. So, again I created my own.

We are a small group, around 30 moms, but we are very active and supportive of one another.

But the best part is that we started to teach our kids about German traditions. So, during the holiday season, we get together to teach our kids about these traditions and celebrate them. Doing so has helped me with my homesickness.

Keeping busy to fight “being homesick!”

Also, a lot of times I hear “I’m just keeping busy” and that is great. But it is important to acknowledge your feelings and you are allowed to feel sad. It’s just what you make out of it that matters.

For instance, you can have “a good cry” about it, but then you need to get up and continue your life. Being homesick should not take over your entire life or affect your life in a negative way for a long period of time.

Whatever strategy works for you just make sure you allow yourself to feel all the feelings.

Support Group

Furthermore, holding everything in is never a good idea. Talk to someone about how you feel! Need additional support? Check out my support group for foreign moms. A group where you can express any of those feelings in a safe environment.

In addition, are you raising bilingual kids? Feeling discouraged at times? Check out my blog post on how to raise bilingual kids!

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