20 November 2015

How to Deal With Homesickness

We all have felt homesick at one point in our lives. Whether it was the first night away at a friends house or 6th grade camp, those pangs of sadness and longing were unbearable and no matter how hard you tried seemed to bring tears or a constant state of nervousness. The best part about short term homesickness is that you can focus your mind on the fact that in just 12 hours or even 2 days you will be back home.

With one exception (summer camp 7th Grade) I feel like I handle being away from home fairly well. But a few months ago I pushed those skills to the limit and moved away from my family, my hometown, and friends to a brand new city with only one person there that I knew and no job. This meant I had pretty much nothing in terms of comforts awaiting me in San Francisco. Those first couple of weeks were so difficult and I found myself desperately searching online for better ways to deal with homesickness because at the rate I was going I felt like I would never not feel homesick, that it would become a permanent condition. Mind you, I was an emotional basket-case and as a result a bit melodramatic when it comes to just how bad I felt. But if anyone reading this right now is feeling homesick you will know what I mean. My results online didn't offer me much solace besides for focusing on some task at hand or immersing yourself in your job. Guess what? I had no job and my only task was finding a new job which in itself is a trying endeavor.

It has been 3 months now and even though I severely miss my family in San Diego, I am able to deal with the pangs of homesickness better now. What works for each person is different, but I want to share the tricks that I have been using to better deal with being away from home.
Source: Imgur

My Top 5 Tips for dealing with Homesickness

1. Make a List Each Morning

Every morning (or night if its better for you) make a list of everything you need to do that day, the things you want to do, and a note to yourself about something you did really well the day before or encouraging words. I know it seems mundane but seriously, if you put the effort into this list you will feel good about yourself and everything you are going to accomplish that day. It instantly shifts your brain's focus onto tasks at hand and a reminder of just how great you are!

2. iHeart Radio

This one is tricky because there is a fine line between the comfort of bringing a radio station from back home with you and falling into the pit of missing home. SO use this one sparingly, but know that it is an easy and surprising way to kind of feel like you are bringing a peice of your hometown with you to your new place. I am able to listen to some of my favorite radio stations from San Diego and hear the familiar voices of the radios hosts and talk shows.

3. Baking

I am well aware that not everyone likes to bake or is able to but baking can be a challenge, it requires careful attention to measurements, temperatures, and technique. You have to think about what you're doing. So if you have access to a kitchen and some time to bake something, do it! Find a challenging recipe or something you have never made before (Dare: try something fancy or delicate like macarons, tartlets, or even a multi layered cake). It doesn't matter if there is no one around to eat it because while you are baking your mind will be distracted and afterwards you will have this awesome dessert or treat that looks amazing and you will without doubt feel accomplished.

4. Take a Group Exercise Class

We all know exercise is good for you, it is a natural stress reliever and releases happy endorphins. When you are new to city, this is also a great way to start to find your niche, meet new people, and be a little more immersed in your new community. Try something new that you've never tried before or stick to a favorite. When I moved to San Francisco, I found this great yoga studio my first week here, and honestly during the class and afterwards I was pumped and wasn't thinking about being homesick or anything for the rest of the day, it was amazing.

5. Journaling

I have never been able to keep a diary and I always never knew how to start an entry, do you say dear diary or hi? I have minor issues here haha but when you are going through an emotional hard time, there is something magical about journaling. Since I'm not one for diaries I tend to go to my laptop and type away in a word doc everything I am feeling or thinking. It isn't structured and often times when I go back and read it later, there is no structure and it is a chaotic mess of random thoughts and feelings. But it doesn't matter because the goal is to express yourself somewhere completely confidential where no body else is going to read it and you can go on and on about the little things you miss or how sad you are. Writing it down (or typing) gets it out of your system so that you aren't caging it all in and becoming gloomier.  


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