It might be difficult to adjust to life apart from your loved ones. Finding a better life requires the ability to overcome homesickness. When you miss home, what should you do? People who spend extended periods away from home for a job or school are particularly vulnerable to these distressing pangs of homesickness. Separation from loved ones while attempting to adapt to a new setting can be emotionally taxing. Learn practical strategies to combat feelings of homesickness by reading this article. Learn how to deal with the homesickness that prevents you from taking full advantage of a new adventure.
When Do You Miss Your Home?
Being far from friends and family in an unfamiliar place can cause a wide range of negative emotions, including homesickness. When someone is away from their usual surroundings, they may have a strong sense of longing and isolation. There are times when people have no choice but to go somewhere, whether it is for employment, education, immigration, or other reasons.
Feeling homesick is a normal reaction to having to deal with change and loss in one’s environment. Humans tend to resist change, especially when they are emotionally invested in their established routines and spaces. The mental and physiological effects of homesickness might be severe if we don’t learn to cope with it. The time required for adaptation to a new setting may vary from one person to the next. There are, however, measures you may do to ease the transition to your new home and the range of emotions it entails.
Feelings Of Loneliness Among University Students
There are almost 15 million full-time college students in South Africa. They become nervous, distant, and unhappy due to homesickness. University students are especially vulnerable to homesickness, but anyone can feel this way. Research shows that homesickness can slow a new student’s progress throughout the first semester of college. The result is less time spent interacting with others, which is linked to negative social outcomes.
Academic performance and retention suffer for most homesick college students, according to studies. The abrupt alteration of their environment has left many students feeling profoundly uprooted. Negative cognitive and interpersonal outcomes have been linked to homesickness’ psychological manifestations.
Homesickness is a serious issue for both international and domestic college students. It can make current anxiety disorders worse, which in turn can lead to additional health problems. With the right care, students can return to school feeling healthy and ready to learn.
Why Do You Miss Your Old Home?
Many things can trigger a longing for a home. When moving from a comfortable to an unfamiliar setting, it’s natural to feel a range of emotions. When we move away from our familiar surroundings, there will always be some things we miss. It could be anything that reminds us of home, from close friends to a favourite dish to family. But homesickness is only a passing feeling. The following are some of the causes of your homesickness:
Difference in Culture
Moving to a new location is both thrilling and challenging. You’ll have to give yourself some time to adjust and settle in. One reason you may feel homesick and alone is cultural shock.
After the initial phase of excitement wears off, the disconnect between your home culture and the new environment can leave you feeling lonely and melancholy. The low points, when you miss home, are inevitable. It will take some time to learn how to gradually adapt to your new surroundings and culture. Give yourself at least a few weeks to get acclimated to the local culture and start making friends who can point you in the right direction. Then, instead of trying to solve homesickness all at once, take baby steps. Just focus on today.
Change in Your Way of Life
Your routines and manner of life may shift slightly after you leave home. You need to adopt the local customs, try out some new activities, and mingle with the locals. Some people experience stress and anxiety as a result of this dramatic change to their routine. In addition, being in an unknown setting might elicit the kinds of overwhelming emotions associated with anxiety disorders. When you’re in a place that’s completely different from your norm, you may experience some unease. A person’s ability to mentally prepare for the future might be hindered by uncertainty, which can be a source of stress.
Having Difficulty Changing
Research shows that feeling homesick can hinder a person’s capacity to adapt to a new setting. We are unable to perform at our usual levels while we are mourning the absence of the familiar.
Being a stranger in a strange land can make us anxious and unsure of ourselves. On the other hand, people have the innate capacity to adjust to novel circumstances. Realize that overcoming homesickness is a procedure and give yourself time to do so.
Symptoms of Longing for Home
Learning to persevere through feelings of homesickness is an essential life skill. Recognizing the presence of homesickness is the first step in overcoming it. Learn to identify signs and do all you can to mentally ready yourself for them. , There are physiological, behavioural, cognitive, and affective manifestations of homesickness. If you’re missing home and want to know the telltale signals, here they are:
- Nervous breakdowns
- Patterns of sleep disruption
- Headaches and nausea
- S state of excessive fatigue or listlessness
- Unable to concentrate on even routine chores
- Appetite loss
- Getting slimmer
- Concentration issues
Symptoms in Behaviour
- Wanting to be noticed
- Withdrawal from social activities or an unwillingness to schedule meetings with others.
- Putting off doing anything physical
- Can’t take pleasure in life as it is
Symptoms of the Mind
- Feeling isolated, down, and miserable
- You miss your old life, your family, and your home.
- Feeling like you’re not in your comfort zone
- Having suicidal ideas
- Lack of enthusiasm about anything
- Panic disorder
- Inevitable home-bound thoughts that you can’t seem to shake
- Disappointment with a new group of people or environment
Disorders of the Mind
- Every time you encounter a familiar sight or sound, you’re overcome with sadness.
- Lack of ability to regulate one’s feelings
- Separation anxiety
While it’s true that homesickness is to be expected at first, these feelings should gradually subside over time. This is most noticeable during the day’s more reflective moments, such as when you’re alone with a book, enjoying music, or getting ready for bed. If you’re in need of ex-pat counselling to get you through your homesickness, click here to learn how ex-pat counselling can help you.