The dreaded homesickness
I love travelling and seeing new places. Sometimes we are on the road for a long time, whereas other times we move straight from one place to the new home. Either way, travels and relocating will almost always awaken some moments where you will want to just leave and go back home. When it feels to hard, when your family is too far away and nothing seems to go your way.
1) Acknowledge the feeling of homesickness
Homesickness is a type of grief that comes from a feeling of loss. It’s not silly, stupid or weak to feel it from time to time and anyone who has suffered from it know that it’s a very strong emotional state.
Action: Allow yourself to feel it and acknowledge that it’s something you feel, not something that you are. It’s much more resourceful to think ‘Today I notice that I’m feeling homesick” as opposed to the more negative “I am so homesick”.
2) Get really clear on what specifically you are missing
When homesickness hits its usually a feeling that we miss everything and everyone in the place that was once our home. In order to step out of overwhelm we need to get specific and break the feeling down into more manageable pieces.
Action: Take 5 minutes to write a list of the top 10 things only (specific people, foods, places etc) that you miss the most right now.
3) Which of these things can you do something about right now?
When you are clear on what specifically you are missing, it’s time to look at what you can do to soothe that feeling of loss.
Action: If you miss a specific person, can you call or send them a message and tell them how much you appreciate that they are in your life. If you miss a specific place, can you bring out a photo or do a visualisation of the last time you were there and remember how nice it was and how fortunate you are to have been there? If you miss a specific type of food, could you go to the supermarket and find similar ingredients to cook or bake it today?
4) Bring in the perspective of where you are now
When you have connected with the people and things you might have been missing, it’s time to introduce some perspective. What does the place you are currently living offer that your previous home (the one you were missing today) does not? Look at things like lifestyle, income, social life, weather, travel opportunities and anything else that might be important to you.
Action: Write a list of at least 10 things (preferably as many as you can think of) that are great with the place you are currently at. It can be big things or small things. If you really struggle to find great things it can be as simple as ‘the coffee in my local café is amazing’. There are no negatives allowed on this list, so focus on the positive only!
The main thing with homesickness is to remember that what you focus on is what you get, to the exclusion of everything else. If you focus on what you miss, you’ll miss it more. If you focus on the good things in your life, the homesickness will gradually fade away.
How do you cope with homesickness?