One of the greatest concerns of expats living in another country is the longing for those things familiar and regular in their home country. While there are many ways to get past it, the best way to handle it is to accept the fact that it is okay to feel bad when you are away from home.
This is often called separation anxiety. For many expats, homesickness sets in after the initial giddiness of experiencing new things in the new country. This is also often accompanied by bouts of loneliness and depression. They often call this hitting the wall where the unfamiliar surroundings would only serve to exacerbate this wanting and longing to those that are familiar from the home country.
Many turn to greater social interaction while others prefer to coop themselves up in their rooms until the sadness dissipates. Like many emotional conditions, there are steps to properly manage it, as follows:
- The first step is acceptance that the expat is living in another country. From then on, one can move forward in managing the problem;
- The second step is building a home away from home. This can be done by having friends in your area instead of maintaining long distance friendships. Having local friends, often similarly situated as yourself, can help in managing the sadness accompanying homesickness;
- The third step is being positive about where you are. Many expats often get weighed down with the bad things of their location and pine about the good life they have back home. Reversing this thought process can help in making things better for your situation;
Homesickness can also be cured by quick fixes. Here are some suggestions on how to get by and heal homesickness while being away from home:
- Plan a vacation to your home country. This is the best way to heal your homesick heart. Make sure you schedule it sometime away, so you have something to look forward to in months to come;
- Learning about the home country. One way to learn to love the country is learning about it. Often, it is best to learn the language or cooking the cuisine would be a great way to start off;
- Building relationships. One way to cure homesickness is making the home country your new home. And where the heart is, home is. So building relationships, be it with a group or with an individual would help ease your transition and make your stay all the more better;
- Bringing family over. Many expats have families in their home country. Having family visit or even stay with you overseas can help in easing the pain of living away from home and bringing home to where you are.
As can be seen, resolving homesickness is both an internal and external process an expat has to undertake. Internally, opening your mind to the new experience would help in making your new home where you are. Externally, doing actions that can make you busy can help in avoiding periods of loneliness and sadness leading to homesickness.