Homesick? You are not alone.
Home is a special place...one full of wonderful memories, close friends and family, and a sense of comfort that is hard to find anywhere else. When you move, it can feel like you leave all of that behind. Even if you’re excited for a fresh start in a new place, feeling homesick is a normal part of the transition. This is especially true when the novelty of being somewhere new fades and the reality of day to day life sets in. Your friends back home are still living their lives and you’re sitting here wondering if it would be weird to make friends with the mailman. I get it. I’ve been there. But one of the things that has helped me most was resisting the temptation to resign myself to endless nights of watching Friends reruns and deciding to let my homesickness fuel me to create the life I desired. Here are 5 ways that I have dealt with homesickness (that actually help!).
Explore like a Tourist
You’re new to the city and have probably not seen much of it yet, especially if you’ve been in bed feeling homesick. The best way to break out of this rut is to head out for a day of exploration. Find recommendations from locals, search Pinterest for the best things to do in your city, or head out for the day without a plan. You’ll find cool places to eat, perfectly Instagrammable spots, and hey, you may even meet a new friend or two. Getting out of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to beat homesickness - it can ignite the excitement of being in a new place and remind you of how much the world has to offer.
Create New Traditions
One of the most comforting things about home is all the traditions that come along with it. You may be feeling nostalgic for your weekly girl’s or guy’s nights or your Saturday’s picnicking at local parks or catching a local sporting event. While nothing will ever replace those special memories for you, creating new traditions can make you feel a little less homesick. Even if you’re really new in town and don’t have much of a crew yet, creating small traditions can be helpful. Start by going to the same coffee shop every day (bonus: you’ll become a regular and start making new friends!) or hitting up the best farmer’s market every Sunday. Over time, these small traditions will turn into memories that you’ll cherish forever.
Enjoy the Comforts of Home
What makes you feel the most at home? Is it the smell of apple pie wafting through the house? Pictures of your family gracing the walls? An herb garden with fresh basil anytime you want it? Whatever it is that gives you that homey feeling, be sure to make recreating that a priority. It might not make you miss home any less but it will give you a sense of comfort to have special memories around you. A new home is like a blank piece of canvas, so don’t forget to mix a little bit of new in with the old. Maybe you have a Pinterest board of decorating DIY’s you want to try. Now’s the perfect time to use your creativity - you’ll have some fresh new touches for your new house and distract yourself from feeling homesick.
Stay Connected to Family and Friends...But Not Too Connected
Nothing can ease the pain of homesickness quite like talking to your friends and family back home. Staying in touch can help you remember that you still have a support system, even if they no longer live right down the street. Though you may want to spend your nights Skyping your best friend from home, remember that a new life awaits you. Being too connected to your old life can prevent you from making new friends and memories and even make feeling homesick worse. Schedule a weekly call with the people you miss the most and leave the rest of your time open for opportunities to get to know the people and places in your new town.
Make New Friends
Remember that song from elementary school? Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold. Though it may be just an old rhyme, it holds a lot of truth. Feeling homesick is really hard but putting yourself out there and making new friends can ease some of the pain. While making new friends as an adult isn’t as simple as it was in kindergarten, the same rules still apply and the list of places you can meet new people is endless. From the grocery store to meetup groups and local Facebook groups to websites designed just for welcoming Newbees into the neighborhood, making friends can be just as easy as saying “Hi! Want to get a glass of wine with me?”.
Being homesick is never fun but remember, you’re not the only one new to your city. Reach out to other Newbees and start building a community in your new town. Adios, homesickness. Hello, amazing new adventures!