Hopefully everyone had a lovely Christmas! Like I said in my last post, I’m spending the holidays back in Finland. Being home and seeing my family and friends here has made me think about something that is a part of everyone’s life who has ever lived abroad – homesickness.
I have lived abroad for a year and a half and during that time I’ve only visited Finland about every four months so I’m familiar with being homesick. When you see pictures of your friends at a fun party on Facebook or your friend is having a hard time and would need a shoulder to cry on, you can’t help but think “I wish I was there”. But there are ways to deal with homesickness. Here are some things that, in my opinion, are important:
1. Make new friends. Nothing will make you feel more homesick as feeling lonely. Getting to know other expats is a good idea since they will know exactly how you feel.
2. Be active and find interesting things to do. Being bored makes you wonder all the things you could be doing at home whereas having a lot to do leaves you less time to miss everything.
3. Keep in touch but not too much. With Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook it’s super easy to share your experience with everyone at home so let them be a part of your new life. But make sure you don’t spend all your evenings in front of your computer talking to your friends back home when you should be enjoying your life in a new country.
4. Keep in mind why you left. It doesn’t matter if your reason for moving abroad was to learn a new language, travel or just get out of your comfort zone and experience something new, you should keep that goal in mind. It makes feeling homesick time to time worth it.
5. Accept it. It’s perfectly natural to feel homesick. It actually means you’re quite lucky, you have left behind something worth missing. Cry it out, let yourself be miserable for a moment and then let the feeling go.
Enjoy the rest of your holidays and your time at home!