Last time I posted my first 5 tricks to make you feel more easily at home in new town, new country. Now I share my next 5 tricks that will help you to get over your homesickness. Ready? Here they come:
1) Talk about your homesickness.
Call or skype with a good friend and talk about your feelings. Talk with your partner, a friend from home (whom you know he/she is not judging you, but really listens), a new friend, person you’ve met. Talk with them how you feel, what your experiences so far are, what and why things are different. Talk also about the nice things, the things you like in your new place and what you would like to do about your homesickness. You could also ask a friend or family member to visit you! That way you will have something to look forward to and when they here you can show them your new place. It will make it easier for them when they know your place, your city and you can share some new nice moments and have fun together.
2) Make friends online.
Yes, online! We are living in a modern time, let’s face it and make a good use of it. On Facebook you will find a lot of interesting groups that will help you connect to other people like you, like expats in city x, or international club of woman in x, or x woman living abroad ( Dutch woman living abroad: https://www.facebook.com/groups/461747104002985 ), mums in city x or Internations (https://www.facebook.com/InterNations.org ). Search for them and connect. Read their stories, and tell them yours. Use them for great tips in your region, for really practical und useful tips and try to meet. There is only one but….pay attention that you don’t spend too much time online. It is easy to lose track of time, so make sure you meet real people face-to-face etc.
3) Be positive.
I know, you are having a hard time right now. Feeling homesick can feel pretty bad. You can feel like crap, like you are standing still and everyone around you is progressing, happy and alive. Or you feel like you are missing everything. However, the feeling you are experiencing now is a signal that you should make a start with more positive thinking and acting. Because the negative thinking will not help you to feel better, does it? You could start by making a positive diary and write down one (or more J) positive things every single day. Put in all the nice, beautiful things about your new city and country, compliments you’ve got from persons, things you’ve already managed to do since you got here etc.
Now also start to act more positive. Make a list of things you like to do or things you’ve always wanted to do and start doing them. Spoil yourself too. Treat yourself, buy that special thing you’ve always wanted, book a massage, have a nice diner. Enjoy being in this place where you have more time to learn more about yourself, learn new things, get to know other people, absorb the new culture. What makes you smile in your new city?
4) Be active and get a routine.
It might be tempting or going in an unnoticed way, but watch out, it happens too often that people are getting less done in a day. You could get bored (out), feel depressed and lonely. Doing not that much during the days will definitely not make the homesickness disappear. You will have to get up, get dressed and be active. I know some of these things I’ve already addressed in my earlier blog, but for now the active part and getting a routine in your daily life is the important trick. Find yourself a nice routine which gives you some support, something to rely on. This could be going to your favorite bakery, or grab a coffee in your favorite café. Plan weekly courses (language, sports, things you like) and decide how you want to fill in your weeks. Life will always have some surprises for you, instability and inconsistency. So find a happy place, a happy routine for every day.
5) Connect with other expats and people from your own country.
If you connect with other people that are in a similar situation, they will better understand how you feel. They’ve been there, are dealing with it too or could have some great tips. They listen, you can share and laugh about all these little stupid things you don’t understand from the new country and new culture you’re living right now. Moreover it’s nice to have some experts around you and people who really understands what the impact of such a move is. It is also a chance of sharing the memories of your country and the food you were missing. It happens all the time that one of them has a secret stash of your favorite candies, cookies or whatever. Or maybe this is an opportunity to make your national dish together or organize a picnic with people from different nationalities and everyone could bring a national dish.
Sure there are much more things you could do and think differently that will help to feel you more at home. But in my opinion these ten tricks are the most effective ones. This is the starting point to feel more at home and get over your homesickness. Try them out now and let me know what you think about it and how you’re doing. Do you have other tricks that helped you? I would be happy to hear them.