Overcoming Homesickness When Living Abroad

overcoming-homesickness-when-living-abroadAlmost all expats at some point while living abroad will experience some degree of homesickness. No matter if it is the first time that you have been away from your home country, or you have been living abroad for a number of years, it is only normal that you will eventually begin to miss home. Therefore, it is important to understand what the symptoms for homesickness are and steps that you can take to overcome it.

What Exactly Is Homesickness?

Homesickness is the feelings of depression or anxiety that are caused from being separated from your home environment for an extended length of time. Homesickness is most common among children who experience separation anxiety while they are away at summer camp, their first day of school or sleepovers at a friend’s house. However, many adults living abroad also experience bouts of homesickness from time to time.

What are the Symptoms of Homesickness?

All expatriates most likely feel at least a little homesick each time they leave their home country. Mild symptoms of homesickness include a decrease or increase in appetite, insomnia, excessive smoking or drinking. Many expatriates experience a diminished capacity for thought and concentration.

Expats experiencing homesickness feel sad, depressed, angry or hopeless. They find it difficult to adjust to their new life abroad. Many will withdraw from socializing and spend the majority of their time calling or emailing friends and family back home.

It is important to keep a positive attitude while living abroad. You find it comforting to bring a few items from home with you to your new country to help you adjust to your new surroundings. Keep in touch with your friends and family through letters, emails and telephone calls. Even though it is good to hear about everyone back home, be sure to spend part of the conversation talking about your life abroad and the things you find most enjoyable about life as an expat.