Moving away from friends, family and familiar surroundings can be stressful, especially during the holidays. On the other hand, with so many ways to stay in touch and share your experiences in your new location with loved ones back home, there has never been a better time to take that leap of faith and follow your dreams across the country. Check out these 10 tips on how to conquer the homesick blues even when living far away.
- Start a Journal
Recording one's thoughts, feelings and experiences have been a popular therapeutic technique in counseling since the 1960s. With social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook, your friends and family members can come along with you on your journey and see your new location through your perspective. Although you can start journaling at any point, it might be fun to begin with your decision to move and watch your journey unfold on your timeline. You can also use vlogs (video blogs) and blogs on your own website to showcase your adventures. One note of caution, be sure to only post what you would not mind leaking into the public as whatever is posted can never truly be deleted.
- Video Chat
If you feel a little odd about bearing your soul online, you can use any of the numerous video chat options to catch up just as easily. Apps like Skype help people connect at designated times and those with Apple products or Echo Show can enjoy a face-to-face visit anytime. Try using such apps to introduce your new home, neighborhood and local hangouts to your loved ones back home.
- Write Letters
You can also write the highlights of your journey down on paper. Anyone under 30 may not remember the days of receiving a letter from your mom while away at camp or college, hopefully containing quarters for the campus coin laundry. But, the power of snail mail still spreads joy to all letter recipients. Imagine going to the mailbox for your day's worth of junk mail and bills only to find a happy note from your dad, sister, grandparent, or aunt who was just thinking you could use a little cherry surprise. News from loved ones in any form is always a fabulous way to stay connected!
- Send Care Boxes
Letters are not the only things that travel through the post office. Why not collect small tourist trinkets like magnets, postcards, handmade soaps, and tiny replicas of major landmarks to send to your loved ones? Sure, it costs a bit more than ordering something online, but you can lovingly package the items in creative ways that will brighten anyone's day! Need a reason to smile yourself? Ask your loved ones to send you something simple like fresh baked cookies or a stuffed animal that holds a sentiment for you.
- Make Something
Speaking of baking, the art of making something for someone can be comforting on the days when you need a little boost. This can mean anything from a small sample of your award-winning brownies to a large quilt you just learned how to construct from watching YouTube. Being productive in your downtime is key to filling your mind with better thoughts.
- Get Involved
Another way to keep your mind busy is to volunteer in your community. Working with others for a great cause will help hold you accountable for showing up and give you a solid motivation to get dressed on the weekends. Start by thinking of what you enjoy doing and then try to think of well-reputed nonprofits that can put your talents to work for others in your area.
- Join a Social Club
Volunteering jobs can sometimes be more spaced out than you might like leaving you with too much time to think about missing your loved ones. If you find you have extra time, check out the assortment of local social clubs. You can usually find a club for almost any popular activity in the larger cities. If you need a wider selection in the outlying areas an online community might be a good choice.
Remember, while feeling homesick is a natural part of the transition process to a new location, staying busy and finding ways to keep in touch with your loved ones is crucial to not let it hold you back from making the most of your fresh start in your new place of residence. This is especially true over the holidays. Journaling both online and offline, buying small gifts for friends and family, tackling a challenging DIY project you can show off, making a difference in the community, and meeting new friends at social clubs are all ways to keep your mind occupied with more helpful thoughts. Soon enough, you may find so many wonderful ways to feel connected to friends and family while building a comforting life around you that you become more confident in exploring all your current state has to offer. Now, that's something to write home about!