Homesickness is the overwhelming distress and feelings of overpowering loneliness that we experience when away from home. The cognitive hallmark of homesickness is being preoccupied with looping thoughts of home, loved ones, or even attachment objects.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for sufferers of homesickness to report depression and anxiety as primary symptoms. In addition to this, self-isolation and decreased ability to focus are also concerning symptoms.
So, if you’ve recently moved abroad and you’re struggling to shake intense feelings of homesickness, we’ve listed some valuable tips to help you cope.
Reach Out For Professional Support
Even though some might assume that homesickness is not all that serious, assuming the emotional hurdle will pass on its own, unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Because depression is a major symptom, it’s important to know when to reach out. Depression is a concerning mental condition that rapidly decreases the sufferer’s quality of life. Instead of hoping the feelings will take their leave sometime soon, find a professional therapist to guide you through the depression.
With this, it’s wise to purchase IMG health insurance. Health insurance for expatriates will help you afford the costs of mental health services that really will enhance your well-being during an emotionally challenging time.
Don’t Suppress Your Emotions
Suppressing emotions is often a damaging decision, even though it might feel like a strong action. Unfortunately, suppressing your feelings and emotions can lead to physical stress.
There are several health risks of keeping intense emotions hidden from others and even yourself. Some impacts you might experience include stomach and digestive ailments, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and migraines, and even cardiovascular problems.
Instead of shrugging off your internal struggle, reach out to a loved one and share your feelings. Otherwise, you can also put your emotions on paper by journaling your feelings.
Plan A Trip Back Home
Even though you’ve relocated to a foreign region, there’s no reason why you can’t plan a trip back home to visit your loved ones. Instead of leaving your longing to fester into depression, plan a trip back home, book flights in advance, and inform your loved ones know you’ll be visiting.
This action will give you something to look forward to; you won’t miss your home as much if you know you’ll be returning in the near future.
Connect With Other Expatriates
It’s not uncommon for expatriates to feel that others won’t relate well to what they are going through when the symptoms of homesickness become an unbearable burden. On the contrary, other expatriates have been through this challenge.
Reach out to expatriate communities near you to meet new people who really can relate to what you are going through. The action of meeting new people and making friends will also benefit depressive symptoms associated with homesickness.
Get To Know Your New Home
Whether you’ve relocated for work and plan to return home some years later, or you’ve relocated permanently, it’s important to become acquainted with your surroundings and your home.
Devote some time to sightseeing and exploring your new environment. In addition, make your new home your own by decorating the space and making it comfortable. The sooner you accept your new home as your home, the easier it will be to cope with the stress and anxiety associated with homesickness.
Depression and anxiety are undeniably heavy burdens for anyone to carry. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for these mental ailments to convince us we don’t deserve to feel joy and that spending time doing things we like is a waste of time.
However, it’s vital to prioritize self-care activities, regardless of any internal monologue compelling you to stay in bed and waste away. Spend time doing all of the things that bring you joy and help you relax, whether you enjoy reading novels, watching films, crafting creations, painting, or anything else.
Invest In Your Sleep Quality
Sleep quality impacts everything from mood and brain functions to physical health and well-being. So, if you aren’t getting good sleep at night, it will be even more challenging to shake the symptoms of homesickness.
Analyze your sleep environment and develop a bedtime routine that helps you unwind before bed. If you are really struggling to find rest, it’s wise to consider natural sleep aids or reach out to a healthcare practitioner for assistance.
Relocating abroad is a big decision, and adapting to your new environment can feel defeating if homesickness becomes a factor. Fortunately, these feelings won’t last forever, and each action you take to alleviate the symptoms will bring you one step closer to shaking the emotional ailment.
That said, if the symptoms of homesickness are keeping you from leaving your new home and you feel depression is quickly robbing you of a happy and productive life, it’s vital to reach out to a professional therapist.