At its core, homesickness is longing for your home while being apart from it, and it’s often accompanied by feelings of sadness and even depression. If you're struggling with how to deal with homesickness, you don’t have to give into it. There’s plenty of concrete steps you can take to feel better. Try these six tips for dealing with homesickness:
Homesickness is a natural part of moving away from familiar environments, so it’s totally normal to feel this way. In fact, denying your feelings will only prolong your homesickness and make it more difficult for you to cope. Acknowledge what you’re feeling, but try to avoid wallowing. Fixating on how sad you feel will only exacerbate your feelings. Some people find journaling or meditating to be helpful with processing, while others find that it causes them to ruminate on their feelings instead, so experiment around and see what works for you.
Moving away from family and friends is tough, even when you’re excited about the move. While it takes more effort when you live far away, you can totally keep a long-distance friendship going. Text, call and video chat with people from home or keep in touch by exchanging cards and care packages through the mail. Don’t rely completely on other people to reach out to you. Make sure you’re taking initiative and reaching out to them, too. Relationships are a two-way street, after all, and both sides should be putting in the work.
Having touchstones that remind you of home will help keep you grounded and remind you where you came from. For example, you might have a city scented candle or state scented candle that reminds you of your hometown, or photographs that capture your old home. Having these familiar objects around will help you feel more grounded and remind you of home. Consider dedicating a wall or a corner of your new home to these objects, so spread them throughout your apartment or house so you have a little reminder in every room.
When you’re feeling homesick, it can be easy to fixate on all the ways that your new home is different from your old one (and usually the ways your new home is worse). While you may feel like your new place is inferior, make an effort to find the positives in your situation. Maybe your new city has a lot of great restaurants, or more museums, or a lot of parks and campsites. If you can’t think of anything off the top of your head, do some research on what your new city, state or country is known for.
Wallowing in your feelings at home might sound really good, but staying on the couch isn’t going to help you recover in the long run. A lazy day at home is fine on occasion, but if you’re spending every night and all week inside, it’s time to get out. Go for a walk to get to know your neighborhood, grab food from a nearby restaurant or check out the coffee shop on the corner. Staying busy will help distract you from your homesickness and give you a way to channel your energy into something constructive.
Part of what makes homesickness so hard is that you’ve lost the people, spaces and routines that you were used to. While you might not have even noticed this structure in your life before the move, once you lose that routine, it can make coping even harder. Try building yourself some daily and weekly routines to give your schedule a sense of normalcy. Frequenting certain areas, such as going to the same coffee shop or grocery store, will also help you feel more grounded and familiar with the area.
Whether you moved to the next town over or an entirely new country, homesickness is real and can significantly affect how you feel. If you think you might be feeling homesick, try the six strategies listed here to see if they help. If you want something that reminds you of home, be sure to shop our collection of memory scent candles.
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