Working abroad is a tough adjustment. And as the pandemic continues, it’s only gotten much harder. Homesickness is a real issue when living in a faraway country. With so many restrictions in place, it can be challenging to find ways to cope.
But there are some things you can do to help ease the homesickness and make the most of your time abroad. With the right mindset and a little preparation, it can be a fantastic experience. Here are some tips to help you overcome homesickness while working abroad:
Use technology to your advantage
There’s no denying that technology has gone far since its inception. And while there are some negatives to screen time, you can also use it to your advantage when you’re feeling homesick. According to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey, 68% of respondents said that digital interactions with family and friends had helped them feel less lonely during the pandemic.
With countless apps and social media platforms, staying connected with loved ones is easier than ever. Video chat apps like Skype, Zoom and FaceTime make it possible to have face-to-face conversations, even if you’re miles apart. And there are also tons of ways to stay in touch via text, whether through a messaging app like WhatsApp or good old-fashioned text messages.
So, if you’re feeling homesick, don’t hesitate to reach out to your loved ones via these channels. Seeing their faces and hearing their voices can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation. This way, you can stay connected and feel supported, even when you’re far from home.
Join an ex-pat community
If you’re feeling isolated, connecting with other ex-pats is a great way to combat homesickness. There are often meetups or groups specifically for people living abroad, which can provide a much-needed sense of community. These groups can be an excellent resource for information and support and great places to make friends. You can find these groups online or through your local consulate or embassy.
Joining an ex-pat community can help you feel less alone in your experience and give you a chance to connect with people who understand what you’re going through. It’s also a great way to learn about the local culture and discover all the best places to eat, drink and explore. When you have friends in your new city, it can feel like home in no time.
Make your space feel like home
According to Psychology, feeling like you have a place to call home is a crucial part of happiness. So, if you’re living in a foreign country, making your space feel like your own is essential. It can help ease homesickness and make the transition to living abroad much smoother.
There are lots of ways to do this, but some simple ideas include the following:
- Bringing photos of your loved ones or special places from home to display in your apartment
- Making your favorite comfort foods
- Listening to music from home
- Creating a cozy reading nook with blankets and pillows
- Lighting candles or using essential oils to make your space smell like home
Do whatever you can to make your apartment feel where you want to be. Having a comfortable and inviting space can help lessen feelings of homesickness. In doing so, you can relax and feel more at ease in your new surroundings.
Send balikbayan packages to your loved ones
One of the best things about living in a foreign country is getting to experience new cultures and customs. But being far from home during holidays and special occasions can also be challenging. A great way to combat this homesickness is by sending packages to your loved ones.
For Filipino overseas workers, this package is called a balikbayan box. It’s a box full of goodies they send home to their loved ones. This tradition is a great way to stay connected with your roots and to share a piece of your new culture with your loved ones. And with many reliable courier providers abroad, sending a balikbayan box to the Philippines has never been easier. All you need is to choose your trusted provider, pack your box and send it off.
If you’re living abroad, chances are you have access to unique items that your loved ones back home would appreciate. It could be anything from a traditional piece of clothing to a locally made item or food. Whatever it is, sending a package is a great way to show your loved ones that you’re thinking of them and to make them feel closer to you. Not to mention, it’s a fun way to share your experience with them.
Homesickness is a normal and natural feeling, especially when living in a foreign country. But there are many ways to combat it. The above tips are just a few of the best ways to overcome homesickness and make the most of your experience living abroad. So, if you’re feeling homesick, don’t despair. You can do plenty of things to ease those feelings and make your new home feel like home.