Being homesick is a universal feeling, so don’t get frustrated, when you get the blues and miss home, everybody feels this way. And why shouldn’t we experience symptoms of withdrawal, when we leave behind all that is known to us?
Moving somewhere is an exciting experience and getting to know a whole new world is a joyful thing to do, even profound activities, like exploring the local supermarkets. But there will be a time in everyone’s life, when excitement and the joy of new things have worn off and have been replaced with daily routine. This is the time, when homesickness can strike you, because on one hand you are all settled in on the other hand, you are still an “outsider” putting up with a million little and even a few bigger things (language!) that are different from the way you are used to.
This may result in moments of loneliness and solitude in which people feel unrelated to their whole surroundings and missing all the things and people, they belong to. In these moments it is important to be aware of two things: a) from the happiest spouse to the completely satisfied manager, everyone can get a feeling of homesickness from time to time. It is completely natural and fine. b) These moments will come from time to time and they will pass, sometimes as spontaneously as they’ve appeared in the first place.
“here are 276 tips to avoid homesickness…”
You will find articles with titles like that all over the web and they may provide helpful advice, but homesickness isn’t a headache, which you are supposed to shake off as quickly as possible. Experiencing the expat blues can be a reminder of all the beloved things and people you have left, and may even motivate, to get in touch with home. In these modern times we are supposed to feel swell and happy all the time, but also our sad emotions demand their space and we should embrace them as well – without dwelling into it too deeply.
As with the example given above, homesickness can be rather a result of problems with adapting at your new location, or problems with integration and language barriers, than an actual deprivation of the situation you decided to/had to leave behind. Moving to a different country is an exhausting process and at some point you may just feel sick of being a new comer. This heresickness is often mistaken for homesickness, but is a feeling of itself, nonetheless completely natural.
It is important not to deny ourselves the feeling of home- or heresickness, but it is wise to narrow down, what certain things lead us to feeling blue, so that we can work on it. And if that’s not enough we have gathered some useful tips to handle your expat blues:
self-reflect and identify, what is causing these feelings
Sometimes in order to get along at a new place, we have to adapt ourselves. And at a certain point, we became some other version of ourselves and we miss who we were at a different time and a different place. Sometimes it is the question “who am I” what gives us the blues, rather than missing home.
Give inertia no chance
Isolation and feeling sad naturally reduces our motivation and eventually turns us into couch potatoes, but don’t give in into doing nothing. Even if you need to force yourself, grab your phone, visit someone, treat yourself with something nice, go for a run, just take care of yourself and don’t default onto your couch.
it’s not their fault you are feeling blue…
When feeling sad it is also easy to get in a victim mindset, blaming your surroundings for being sad, or being angry at the people home for not calling you, when you are feeling down. It’s on you to make the best out of every situation and matters are in your hand, even at a different location, just grab them and drag yourself out of the blues.
find some home, wherever you are
Find a place, which reminds you of home and visit it when feeling blue to therapize yourself.
reach out! Find a network!
Being in some sort of community really makes up for a lot, join a sommelier club if you are into wine, or a hiking group if you love the outdoors. Find some people, who share the same interests, organize and meet-up regularly, it will help you to get balance, when it is off. Also don’t be afraid or too shy to join, people are always happy to meet like-minded minds and there are lots of things you can contribute.