If I’m being real, I always start to feel a bit homesick once the Spring semester starts. There’s something about the dreary East Coast weather coupled with the piles of work I normally have that make me miss the comfort of my home (and my dog!). However, if you guys read my last blog post, you would know that my homesickness has kicked into high gear since moving abroad for the semester. I didn’t really think about missing home this much while in England, but what did I expect? I miss home even when I’m 45 minutes away!!
All jokes aside, we all know it’s not easy being away from the people you love. At the same time, it’s important not to waste time moping when you could be experiencing life to the fullest! Striking this balance has been a challenge for me since starting college, but I’ve developed a couple tactics I turn to when I’m missing home a little extra.
1. Keep yourself busy!
This is probably the first thing people will suggest you do, and I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t work! When those feelings of homesickness kick in, get out of your room and do something you enjoy. It is so easy to wallow in your sadness (+ unhealthy snacks) when you’re alone with your thoughts in your room, so switch up the scenery and throw yourself into a new situation.
Back at my home university, this means going to get Starbucks or working on my blog a little bit. Here in England, I try to spend as much time with my new friends as possible, or I’ll head over to the library and do some work.
Eventually, you’ll be so caught up in “participating” that you won’t feel quite as homesick as you did before. Sure, that hint of sadness will be in the back of your mind, but being occupied makes it that much easier to manage.
2. Bring a little piece of home everywhere you go
This tactic might not be for everyone, but God knows it works for me. Carrying a “home token” or two makes me feel connected to the people I love even when we’re far apart, so I like to keep a trinket or two on me at all times.
The trick is to keep your reminders of home small and discrete – as much as I would love to carry my teddy bear around with me all day, it’s just not feasible, and it’s large enough to make me upset if I think long enough about it. Keep a photo of your family in your planner, or hang a special keychain on your key ring that reminds you of an inside joke.
It’s the perfect way to feel like you have a piece of home with you, even if you won’t be home for a long time.
3. Indulge yourself in a home-y treat!
I’m a big believer in “treat yo-self”, so this should be a no brainer. I think everyone has a snack or a drink that reminds them of home, and indulging in those things while homesick is a great way to feel connected to your childhood/hometown. Maybe your mom used to make hot chocolate a special way when you were a kid, or you and your family like to eat a special kind of dinner every few weeks.
If those things are accessible to you, treat yourself to them! Not only does it qualify as comfort food (and who doesn’t love comfort food?), but it’ll also make you feel right at home long enough to shake the sadness from homesickness off.
4. CALL HOME!
Okay, if none of these tactics work, just call home.
After a particularly rough day, I almost always find myself calling my mom or dad to talk about the stress of the day. My parents somehow always know exactly what to say to make me feel better, and 9 times out of 10 I hang up feeling a million times better.
I will admit that calling home when you’re experiencing homesickness can be a little counter-productive and make you miss home even more, but at the same time it also has the power to make things feel more manageable. The therapy of a vent session with my mom or FaceTiming my sister for five minutes is often just enough to get me through the stretch of time without them, because for a little while it’s like they’re there with me.
Homesickness is not easy to combat, but these things do wonders for me when I’m feeling down in the dumps. Hopefully, these tips help you, and you’ll bounce back from that homesickness almost as quickly as it came 🙂
Have you ever experienced homesickness? What did you do to combat it?
**Also, PSA: I’ll be switching my posting schedule to once a week on Fridays! Stay tuned for more 🙂