Homesick at Christmas?
Kama J Frankling
Author- The Happy Migrant
Christmas is the time for family and friends. A time for celebrations, a time for appreciation and when you are far from home, Christmas can also be a time for homesickness. The following is adapted from an extract from "The Happy Migrant - Your Relocation Survival Guide"
Generally homesickness is a feeling of wanting familiarity, to be with friends and family. To return to the life you had before you moved. Sometimes it can be experienced as a longing and a real feeling of not belonging where you are now.
My own experience of feeling homesick is a feeling of wanting to be somewhere other than where I am now, just for a little while. I want to feel close to my family and to have fun with some old friends.
Although I have moved a lot and don't really have a place to call home, I still feel this way. It is quite normal to feel homesick every now and then, whoever you are or whatever your experiences have been.
When life feels a bit uncomfortable because you have been through a lot of change, even when it is positive change, it is quite normal to want to resort to some comfort that you can recall from your past. When you are feeling this way it can be easy to start dwelling on the past or fantasizing about the future. As a result, you stop enjoying where you are today.
It is quite normal to feel homesick for a little while at Christmas time. However, to dwell on being homesick will not help the feeling pass. In fact dwelling on it is more likely to enhance your feeling of homesickness. If you dwell on the feeling of homesickness the feeling can get worse and eventually you may be unable to enjoy all that your new environment has to offer you.
It is not possible to be in two frames of mind at the same time. It is not possible to be fully happy and sad at the same time. In the same way, it is not possible to be present in two places at the same time. You cannot fully enjoy where you are if you are spending all your energy missing the place you have come from. How can you cope when you are feeling homesick at this time of year?
If you are tired, can you treat yourself to a break? Feeling tired can make the world seem like a bleak place. Sometimes, rest is the best solution. If, after resting, the feeling of homesickness passes, remind yourself of this next time you are feeling homesick. If the feeling doesn't pass, try some of the following:
Don’t fight the feeling. It is ok to feel this way every now and then. Find a place in your mind for it, have acceptance for it, and know that it will pass.
Phone a family member or friend and tell them how you feel. It may help just to hear their voice and being able to chat.
Find something you appreciate about where you are now. If you have seen a lovely view, go for a visit. If you have found a great restaurant, treat yourself to a night out.
Meditate and breathe. If meditating is new to you then perhaps you can buy a simple meditation CD.
Gather your new friends for a fun lunch or dinner. Celebrate that you have each other. You are not the only one who feels homesick.
Write your feelings in a journal or in a letter.
Sometimes the feeling of homesickness does not pass. If you have tried some of these ideas and the feeling of homesickness is still overwhelming, you may want to consider trying to get home for Christmas or at least plan a trip for next year. If the feeling causes you stress, seek some help from a counsellor or a coach.
Remember that it is quite normal to feel homesick from time to time no matter who you are and what you are used to.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a homesick day. Find some acceptance for the fact that on this particular day you are feeling homesick. Find a place for the feeling knowing that the feeling will eventually pass. Focus on the good things that are surrounding you.
How do you cope with homesickness at Christmas?
By Kama J Frankling - author of "The Happy Migrant - Your Relocation Survival Guide"