While moving abroad is often considered an exciting experience, it can also be rather lonely. If you don’t know anyone in the new country, it’s easy to dwell on whether or not relocating was the right decision to make.
One of the most common challenges that people face when living overseas is homesickness. This refers to the feeling of being separated from family and friends, as well as missing familiar places and routines.
If you’re having trouble adjusting to your new home, keep on reading. Below we are going to discuss some strategies that may help you feel better.
Let’s get started.
Have a plan
Homesickness can’t always be prevented, but having a plan can help make the transition a little easier. You’ll be more prepared, and hopefully, reduce any feelings of stress and anxiety.
Thoroughly research your new location and travel insurance plans, and be sure that your accommodation is lined up. It’s also wise to learn some of the local languages and understand how to keep yourself and your belongings safe.
Form meaningful connections
The best way to feel at home in a new country is to create connections with people there. This can include making friends with locals or other like-minded expats who are in a similar situation as yourself.
Building relationships with others can make you feel like you belong and give you something to look forward to each day. That being said, it does take hard work. You’ll need to have patience and put time and effort into your friendships.
It’s also important to stay in touch with family and friends back home via video calls, emails, and texts. While it may be hard not seeing them in person, these tools allow you to remain in contact. Knowing that they’re only a phone call away can make all the difference when feeling homesick.
Create a comfortable living space
While it sounds strange, your living space has an impact on your emotional well-being, and a familiar and cozy space can significantly reduce homesickness. Take the time to decorate your house or apartment with items that remind you of your old one.
You can even bring along memories such as photos, cherished possessions, and scented candles. It’s the little things that make a big difference, especially after a long and tiring day.
Be open & flexible with your expectations
Try not to expect too much from yourself or your new home when adjusting to life abroad. Have realistic expectations about how long it will take for things to feel normal and be open to adapting to new ways.
It’s going to take time to settle in, and that’s ok! Just keep in mind that it will get easier. Learn how to de-stress and practice ways to manage your anxiety.
Alongside this, allow time to explore different parts of the city, try out different restaurants, and visit tourist sites. All of these are great ways for helping you acclimate more easily to your new home.
Embrace the culture
If you’re living in another country, chances are there are many aspects of its culture that are different from your own. This can be rather overwhelming, but the key is to embrace it, rather than run away.
Walk around your new city and immerse yourself in the different beliefs and customs. You’ll learn more about the culture while also giving yourself something exciting to do during your free time! You may even discover parts that you really enjoy – just think positively.
Celebrate new and old traditions
Alongside following all of the new traditions, don’t forget to celebrate your old ones! If you enjoy certain holidays and customs, find ways to incorporate them into your life, even if it’s only in your own home.
You can also create traditions of your very own. Activities and experiences that bring you joy, will encourage a sense of belonging.
Stick to a routine
Developing a routine can help provide stability during times of transition by allowing you to establish a sense of normal in an unfamiliar environment. So, set aside time for outdoor exercise, cooking meals (instead of eating out), and other standard self-care.
Having structure can help reduce feelings of isolation while also providing a sense of comfort during times of change. Of course, things will be different, but moving doesn’t need to impact every single aspect of your life. It’s still ok to do all the things you love, even if they may not be enjoyed by others!
And that’s it! While moving abroad can be challenging it can also be incredibly rewarding if approached in the right way! Homesickness is normal so don’t be afraid to reach out for support if needed. Talking about how you’re feeling will help remind you that it will be temporary.