How to deal with home sickness

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Do you feel home sick?

Do you feel homesick?
Do you feel that you are a stranger in the new place you live in?
Do you miss your friends, relatives and your room?

Home sickness is a common emotion that can sometimes lead to severe sadness and depression. Few days, weeks or months after a person leaves his town behind he might start feeling uncomfortablet, extremely in need of going back home and unable to adapt to that new place.

but what causes home sickness and how can a person get over it?

What causes home sickness

Here are some factors that lead to the development of home sickness. By understanding them well you will be able to figure out the actions you need to take in order to stop feeling home sick.

  • 1) Its not just the place its the psychological effect: When you feel home sick you don't miss the place you used to live in but you actually miss the feelings you used to experience there. In other words, its the feelings of comfort and calmness you used to experience in your home that you miss and not the physical location (see also How your emotions change your perception of the world)
  • 2) The need for a comfort zone: When you move to a new place everything seems new and as a result you might experience a lot of anxiety. This anxiety and the fear of the unknown can fuel home sickness and let you feel like wanting to go back. In such a case you just miss the comfort zone in your room where you know exactly how everything works. (see also nostalgia i said that people start to miss the past when the present becomes less satisfactory. The same thing could also lead to home sickness. When you start believing that your new life can by no means be compared to your old one you will become home sick
  • 4) Lacking warmth: what do you think will happen if you moved to a new town with all of your friends and relatives? Sometimes home sickness is caused by missing the warmth your friends and relatives used to provide you with. In other words, you do miss the place but you miss this warmth more (See also How to make friends)

How to deal with home sickness

So how can you deal with home sickness? Here are few tips that will help you make your new life much better:

  • 1) Explore your surroundings quickly: As soon as you arrive in a new place start exploring your surroundings to know how to find what you are looking for quickly. When you do so you will reduce the amount of anxiety you experience in that new place. Many people prefer to create a new comfort zone in the country they arrive at and as a result they never manage to get rid of the feelings of anxiety they experience there
  • 2) Try to find friends who have the same background: Do your best to make new friends quickly. What can help you feel home even more is to make friends who belong to your same country or race. By having friends who speak your same language you won't feel that homesick (see I have problems making friends)
  • 3) Build an amazing new life: Many people do the mistake of focusing on their studies or work as soon as they move to a new country forgetting about their other basic needs. When you build a great new life in that new country you are less likley to feel nostalgic and home sick. Find time for sports, make new friends and make sure you hangout and have fun the same way you used to do in your old home (see How to improve the quality of my life)
  • 4) One video call each day: Do one video call each day. You can call each close friend once in a week or you can call your close relatives once each day. By doing so you will compensate for the lack of warmth until you make new loving friends

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