How you can defeat homesickness using this one simple trick
Homesickness can be really tough, I know! You miss your family, friends, your daily routines, food and lots of other little things and habits that seem impossible to find wherever you live now.
Whether you’re an expat mom like me, or you recently moved abroad, or are simply far from home for work or school you can’t afford to curl up in bed all day crying on yourself. It’s not healthy for anyone. So what can you do?
First, let me tell you a story
Few months ago I was really exhausted. You see, I was so caught up with work, mama’s life and roughly another billion things that I completely forgot to take some time for myself. That exhaustion led to a bad mood and the bad mood led to fights with my husband and so on. In those moments I really wished I had my family to go talk to or my best friends. But they’re in Italy, while I live in the US. That was the moment in which I realized how homesickness had been crawling silently inside of me until it exploded.
I just wanted to cry and, don’t get me wrong. I did! A lot!! But I have a 2 year old kid to take care of and responsibilities and, after all, my life here is a great life. I love it here. So why was I letting homesickness and exhaustion define my days? No way. I needed to put my s#it together.
First I needed to get rid of homesickness, then I needed to figure out how to take better care of myself and never ever get so overwhelmed.
So how do I defeat homesickness?
Thinking about how much I loved my life? Almost!
Realizing that Italy didn’t couldn’t give me what I have now? Getting there!
Making a mental list of all the things that I DON’T miss? That’s it!!!
Spoler Alert: this article doesn’t want encourage any form of hate. Just a reminder that not all that shines is gold 😉
And it worked!! The goal is not to get to despise your home Country (if you’re en expat) or wherever you’re coming from. It’s more getting to the realization that it’s not all gold and unicorns there either. There’s a reason why you left and it’s because where you are now offered you something you didn’t have before. Whether it’s a new life, or a better job or a great school. Whatever reason pushed you to make that decision it’s because you were chasing some deep desire or dream. So hold on to it! And at the same time make a list of 5 things that you really don’t miss.
To clarify the logic behind it: you know when one word said in the right or wrong moment can completely change your mood? There. When homesickness takes your breath away is when you remember all the good things you had and you can’t find where you are now. With this trick you trigger the opposite mechanism. Thinking about the things that you couldn’t stand will help you appreciate better what you have now and stop the tears.
My personal list
Depending on how bad homesickness is affecting my day, the list may change a little, but generally speaking here the list of the 5 main things that usually works great for me:
- Taxes. Clearly the first of the list, even without going deeper into political issues that really bother me. Sometimes this single thought is so powerful and awakens such bad memories in me that it’s enough to defeat homesickness in like 2 seconds. I also end up laughing and think that here my life is great compared.
- Polemic. Let me tell you, Italy is wonderful, but it’s also the Country of arguments and those who also do it as a job!!! You find them everywhere: family, at work and unfortunately even on tv. And they do nothing than screaming their opinions on everyone’s face as they were they only truths. Honestly they make me feel like I want to tear my hair out. Not that they don’t exist in the US, but culturally I promise, they’re way more contained. Usually it’s enough to call them out and they stop (Exceptions may apply) 🙂
- Disregard for privacy. Everyone wants to know everyone’s business and, even worst, they judge everything you say, you do, how you say and how you do it. No, definitely I do not miss that.
- Personal drama. I in first place realize that sometimes I focus more on bad things that happened to me rather than the good ones. But I’m working on it and trying to lose that bad habit. Because, after all, I’m a really lucky person and there’s nothing to complain about. It’s a very Italian “attitude” to focus on personal drama and I really hope to leave that behind and QUICKLY. I like that fact that here you can talk about your problems without making a soap opera out of it.
- Italian Tv Shows. Not that is such a big part of my life, but when I decide to relax in from on the Tv, I’d like to watch something that I actually like. In Italy the only way (now they have Netflix there too) was to pay crazy money for Sky or other cable tv. Because let’s be honest, national channels are really horrible both for the show schedule and the never ending commercial (trust me, in Italy it’s way worse than the US). At least here, besides Netflix there are other great options such as Hulu, with tv show, movies, documentaries, kids shows and cartoons, etc. All for less than 10 dollars a month. You really can’t compare.
This just to give you an example of how to make a list of things that’ll help you defeat homesickness and, while some of these might sound silly to you, they work great for me. So I strongly recommend to make your own list and learn it so well that homesickness will never find you unprepared again.
Homesickness is an ugly beast
Because once it starts growing on you, it’s hard to push away. Just like in my story, it usually arrives when something in your daily life went wrong and see all black. That’s when you start thinking “ahhh, how I miss…” STOP! Don’t think about it. Don’t let the little devil whisper that “bad things wouldn’t happen there”, because we both know that it’s a big fat lie.
Or when we’re under hormones attack and we can’t find our favorite brand of cookies or, in my case, ice-cream. For that, there’s an easy solution: order them online and keep a stash for when you need them. For this you can read my article on where to find Italian food in the US. Even if specific for Italian food, most of the online store are international stores, so look it up. And you can always research your favorite stores. You’re welcome 🙂
It’s a vicious circle because homesickness is related to love so making a list of negative things might seem like a difficult process. But I assure you, it’s not! And the more you practice, the more it’ll come easy. You can control the beast with this simple and effective trick and also cherish all the love that home deserves.
P.S.= if you liked this article, don’t forget to share it 😉