I know exactly what it feels like to be homesick when you first move to a new country. The food is
different, the people are different, and the culture is different to what you’re used to. In fact I’m
here to tell you that every time something goes badly wrong, when you’re feeling lonely, or when
you just miss your old friends, homesickness can, and will, rear its ugly head.
There is some good news though. After more than two years living in Amsterdam I have found some
great ways to help stop it ruining your day, instead of jumping on the next flight home.
Have a Chat
The first is to get in touch with your friends and family and have a chat. Make sure you don’t over-
do it though because otherwise it can become too overwhelming, and the temptation will then be to
wallow in it. I find that skyping with my mum once a week (we are a close-knit family) is enough to
keep any homesickness at bay because I get an update on the rest of the family and what they have
been up to.
It’s important to try not to dwell on these feelings too much, and by keeping yourself busy – either
with your (new) friends, new hobbies or a new project, you won’t give yourself time to even think
about being homesick. If you’ve just moved, make sure you put yourself out there and meet new
Have Something to Look Forward To
If you’re really struggling with homesickness and it feels like you’re not dealing with it very well at
all, I find that having something (anything) to look forward to helps. Even if it’s as simple as going
out for a coffee with a friend. It doesn’t have to be something exotic or fancy, just as long as it’s
something that you enjoy.
After exercise your body releases endorphins, and I can definitely recommend going for a run or bike
ride to try and help you to nip the homesickness in the bud. It will not only make you healthier, you’ll
also feel better afterwards.
Give Yourself Some Time
Giving yourself time is really important. Expecting these feelings to just disappear immediately
won’t do you any favours. Instead, accept the fact that it might take some time to get over it and be
gentle with yourself. Sometimes the best solution is to have a good cry, and when you’re done try to
slowly move forward.
Have you ever had to deal with homesickness? What are your methods for dealing with it? I would
love to hear about them.