Tough time dealing with Homesickness? Read on…

If you are having homesick or started hating the country you have moved to, I know exactly how you feel. Good news is that you will feel better eventually. Dealing with homesickness is just a matter of time and a little actions, but remember to be optimistic and try accepting things around you.

I was 12 years old when I moved to a whole new country, Malaysia, for my father’s job. At first, I was excited about being in a new place and curious about everything around me. However, that did not last a month.

Soon after I started my new life in Malaysia, I started missing my home country, and I even started hating the country for tiny details, like the smell of the street. Even so, I had to stay there because my whole family moved there.

After three years or so, I had some good friends, and I started caring less about life in Malaysia. I still missed my home country but I started having good life there.

By the time I was leaving Malaysia after living there for 5 years, I had appreciation towards the culture, bio/socio-diversity, and gastronomy of Malaysia. I did not want to leave the country.

As you can see, there are different stages of adaptation. In fact, there are studies of these stages as below. Learning these stages will help you dealing with homesickness.

Stages of Adaptation and How to Deal with Homesickness

1. Honeymoon Stage

  • You are excited, curious, and positively looking forward to the new life that is coming up.

2. Irritability and Hostility

* If you are dealing with homesickness, this would be the stage you are in.

  • You start to see differences between the the new place and your home town. The differences become confusing and annoying. You miss all about your home. You may feel that things in your home town is superior, and you may even blame things on people or the way it is in the new place. This stage may put people under depression. The best way to heal this is to go out. Staying in your room and shutting yourself from the world is NOT the way to deal with homesickness.

3. Gradual Adjustment

  • You start to care less about the differences you have found during Irritability and Hostility stage. You would accept the differences.

4. Adaptation of Biculturalism

  • You would feel that the new place has become your home away from home. You would feel a sense of belonging. You would be interested in the culture there, as well.

5. Reverse Culture Shock

  • When you permanently go back to your home town, you find that your home town is not what you have expected to be. You would miss the foreign land.
  • As for the fifth stage, reverse culture shock, the best way to heal is, again, to go out, just like the second stage. Both second and fifth stage are lonely and painful but only time can heal. Just try going out more often, and stagy optimistic.

Summary of How to Deal with Homesickness

To summarize the remedies,

  • stay optimistic,
  • understand that it is only temporary emotion during your adaptation stage,
  • try to accept the new environment,
  • make new friends, and
  • go out more frequently,
  • Then, the time will heal you.

unsplash-logo Caleb George

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