Almost every student feels homesick while studying abroad. It’s natural to feel uneasiness while you are staying overseas, because of reasons like climatic conditions, cultural differences, social environment, feeling lonely, sudden change in your regular support system, lack of control over activities happening around you, etc. It’s not easy to get rid of homesickness while studying abroad, as it involves a lot of challenges.
Students face a lot of challenges in their day-to-day life and feeling homesickness on top of them can make them more vulnerable to the foreign environment and will affect their mental health. Students who are studying abroad or planning to study abroad do not need to worry about feeling homesick, as we’ve got your back. We will provide you with the best strategies which will help you to get rid of homesickness while studying abroad.
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What is Homesickness?
Homesickness is the feeling of sadness, loneliness and nostalgia caused to someone who has just moved out from their familiar environment. Studies have shown that it’s a normal emotional response that people feel when they are separated from their home, family and friends, and is largely experienced by students while studying abroad.
There are many factors that can trigger homesickness, such as unfamiliarity with the new place and environment, lack of interaction with people around you, and the feeling of disconnection from your cultural identity. A lot of times, the symptoms of homesickness can be different, sometimes leading to the desire to return home.
Also read – World Mental Health Day
Top 5 Strategies to Get Rid of Homesickness
There are tons of ways which can help you overcome homesickness while you are pursuing your higher education abroad. What you need is to execute these strategies in effective ways so that they can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health. Here are some of the top strategies which will surely help you in getting rid of homesickness while studying abroad.
Write Down What You Feel
Writing can help you reflect on your life experiences, goals, and aspirations. This can lead to personal growth and a deeper understanding of yourself. Expressing your thoughts and feelings can be a good way of highlighting your experience when you feel homesick. Writing can help you in expressing your emotions and you sent it as a mail or postcard or message to someone who is close to you.
Writing how you feel can be considered a cathartic experience as it helps on releasing pent-up emotions to cleanse your mental condition. Some consider writing as a creative medium where you get the chance to showcase your imagination and elaborate your thoughts in new and creative ways.
Contact Virtually With Your Family
Technology has helped us in getting closer to our loved ones if we are living in a distant place. Those days are gone when you had to write a letter to your friends and family and it would take days to reach them. Today you can simply connect with your friends and families in just a couple of seconds by making a video call and talking about how you feel.
Video Calling allows you to connect with people remotely, which creates a more personal and engaging communication experience, and increases productivity and efficiency for remote teams. If you are feeling homesick or missing your family, you can connect with them within seconds and share your thoughts and feelings, resulting in making you feel better.
Feeling lonely is one of the major factors of homesickness when you are studying abroad. Living in a distant place away from home and your dear ones often causes mental stress. You need a little change in your mindset and think of this as an opportunity to make new friends and explore new places. You can create a new network of friends and people around you with which you can hang out and talk about each and every aspect of your life.
You need to get adopted and connect to new people, attend functions and social gatherings, and make new friends. This will eradicate your feeling of loneliness and can turn the table the other way around. You can travel to different places with your new friends and share how good you feel with them.
Embrace The New Culture
Adapting to new cultures and practices brings various challenges, as it requires you to keep an open mind, a willingness to learn, patience and a positive mindset. While studying abroad, you will be surrounded by unfamiliar people, routines and customs. It’s up to you how you plan to make these challenges into opportunities, where you can learn and embrace new cultures.
You need to be open-minded to embrace new cultures and must have the urge to learn something new. When your daily routine changes, you feel a little uneasiness and lose your focus. But instead of focusing on the negative aspects, you must try to understand the local customs, way of life, and learn the local language to communicate more effectively with the local people.
Engage in Fitness & Self-Care
Fitness and self-care activities can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. Feeling homesick makes you lethargic and inactive, which makes you feel negative about everything around you. You need to make a fitness plan for yourself, one which must include short-term goals and commitment to your new routine.
You can take some time and practice mindfulness activities such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, etc. as these will help you to overcome mental stress and improve your overall well-being. Also, it would be great if you follow a proper diet plan and include fruits, vegetables, and proteins in your meals.