I hadn’t felt homesick when I was abroad in London so when it hit me like a brick in Copenhagen, I struggled with figuring out how to deal with it. The strangest part was that Copenhagen had always felt more like a home than London so I wasn’t expecting to get hit at all. And not having previously dealt with it left me scrambling to figure out how to make the FOMO go away. Here are 8 tips that helped me and I hope that they help you!
1. Call Home
Hear me out, ’cause I know places will tell you that this is the worst thing you can do. But honestly, sometimes you just need to call your mom and cry about how shitty you feel. Or sometimes you just need to listen to your best friend bitch about her boyfriend. I see it as a reminder that home will be there when you get back. I mean, it’s not like when you move out you’re never going to call your mom again. That would just be crazy.
2. Get Busy
Go for a run; read or write; or start a new personal project. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you are fully involving yourself in an activity that does not include wallowing. This also includes focusing on the now rather than worrying about everything else in the world. I’ll admit, I still struggle with this every day but I’ve gotten better at it and that’s all I can really hope for.
3. Talk to Friends
Finding out that one of my friends was homesick was incredibly comforting. Why? Because it reminds you that you are not alone even when you feel like you are. It was nice to have someone understand exactly what I was going through and offer tips that helped them get through it.
4. Don’t Listen to Sad Songs
I know that there are a bunch of articles out there saying that sad songs make you happy, but for the purpose of beating homesickness I’m going to have to say ‘no’. Listening to anything Adele will make you more likely to stay isolated and sad rather than push you outside of your comfort zone. If you want a pick me up listen to dancey-happy-woo music. You need something that will get you energized. I’d recommend songs like Saint Motel’s “My Type” or Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It” among others.
5. Write It Out
Before I left for Copenhagen my best friend gave me a journal and commanded me to write in it. To be honest, I thought it was a silly idea (sorry, Courtney!). But honestly? It was such a relief to get all of my thoughts out of my head regardless of if or when someone is going to read it. And it doesn’t matter if your thoughts are coherent. Just write.
6. Talk to a Professional
Maybe not a therapist – although I fully support any decision to see a therapist – but if you’re studying abroad then your program should have someone available to talk about what you’re going through. Take advantage of it. I did and it helped me realize that I was too in my head about everything.
7. Go Somewhere
This could fall under number 2 but I believe it deserves its own point. At the end of the semester I decided to go to London. For a day. A single day. By myself. And boy did I have a great time. I got to do exactly what I wanted at my own pace and there was no pressure to eat somewhere or go out or stress about appeasing someone else. I took myself to see ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ because I love, love Carey Mulligan and sometimes you’ve just gotta treat yourself.
8. Learn to Choose
Finally, sometimes you do need a day holed up watching Netflix and sometimes you need to push yourself out the door. Saying ‘learn to say no’ or ‘learn to say yes’ is very restricting and could leave you feeling worse than you began. It’s far more important to learn to balance your answers rather than stick to one. Always put your health and happiness before anything else.
Have you ever felt homesick? If so, how did you deal with it?