Moving abroad is huge decision, one that brings on a wide spectrum of emotions, from excitement to fear, from stress to delight. An extremely common emotion during the expat process is homesickness. It is an almost inevitable part in the great transition of moving abroad that can detrimentally affect the entire experience.
Here are five useful steps to help beat the blues:
1. Socialise: get involved in as many activities and organisations as possible. Taking up a new hobby is a great way to keep distracted and meet new people. Immersing yourself in a new routine will help detach you from the aspects of home life that you are missing most.
2. Home comforts: If you are feeling particularly homesick try to do something that you associate with home. For instance watch a television programme or film that reminds you of home, or eat food that you would normally have at home.
3. Talk: “A problem shared is a problem halved” - If you feel really down, talk to someone about it. Even if they can’t do something to directly help, getting an issue off your chest will make you feel better. Also, talk to the friends and family that you miss from home. Not too regularly however as too much contact will only make you miss them more. Try to work a Skype session into your routine, maybe once or twice a week.
4. Get away: Take a day trip to somewhere new that you think you would enjoy. Getting away but not going home may give you a fresh perspective on your situation plus a change of scenery may distract you from your worries.
5. Stay positive: wallowing in your own sadness will not help how you feel, except probably make you feel worse. Try to spend as much time as possible around people instead of suffering in silence on your own.
Overall it is important to throw yourself in at the deep end. Immerse yourself in your new location, attempt to learn as much about the culture, and meet as many people, as you can.