In the midst of the holiday season, I can’t help but feel homesick. Living abroad is the best thing I’ve ever done, but I’ll admit – it’s difficult at times. It comes in waves, but the holiday season has been the hardest so far.
Christmas is my favorite holiday and something I closely associate with quality family time. While I don’t necessarily miss freezing my toes off (it’s sunny and 75 degrees here hehe), it’s the experience and warm, fuzzy feeling I miss.
Whether you are living abroad or just moved away for college or a job, homesickness is a common feeling. We have to recognize it’s a transition period and will eventually get used to it.
Here are my four tips for dealing with homesickness:
Stay off social media. Sometimes it can seem as if everyone you know is having the time of their life – you can always find something on social media to give you FOMO. I’ve been seeing all the family gatherings lately – the photos of the Thanksgiving turkey, the “I’m so thankful for..” statuses, Christmas tree searching and the videos of someone’s drunk uncle ranting about Obama…all of it makes me miss my own family. It’s usually best to stay off social media when you are feeling blue.
Go for a nature walk. (I hope you read that as neature walk). Living in New Zealand, there’s no shortage of beautiful views. Being in nature really pumps me up. Sometimes I get to the top of a mountain and I hop around saying stuff like, “FRICK YEAH!! I’M IN NEW ZEALAND!!!” Get outside, see some sick views and remember why you decided to live abroad.
Get out and meet people. Meet up with friends and their friends, find community events to go to, make conversation with your waiter, etc. Remind yourself why you chose to go on this adventure – to see the world and meet new people.
Smile. You are living abroad!! Some people would do unspeakable things to be doing what you are doing. Studies have shown fake smiling releases endorphins and serotonin in the brain as if you were smiling for real.
Have you ever lived abroad and experienced homesickness? What tips do you have for those dealing with it? Leave your comment below – I would love to hear from you!