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Coping With Homesickness After a Move
|Moving is a traumatic experience (which is why it's been voted as the third most stressful life event behind death and divorce), especially after you move away from your comfort zone and to a completely new area.
You don't know the neighbourhood, everyone is a stranger, your home is different and you're out of your element -- factors which definitely work together to lead to homesickness.
Find yourself feeling homesick for the way things were before your move? Here's how to cope with those feelings in a productive manner.
Keep in touch with loved ones
One of the more painful aspects of moving -- regardless of the reasons for your move -- is leaving behind your friends and family. Thankfully, this is an easy fix and can be rectified by staying in touch.
Sure, it's no substitute for actually seeing your loved ones, but it definitely helps to cope just by feeling like you're still connected.
- Text and call your friends and family after your move
- Use social media like Twitter, Facebook, etc. to keep up with each other's lives
- Keep in touch through email
- Use Skype, a Google Hangout or your phone's FaceTime feature for face to face contact
- Send heartfelt letters via snail mail about how you're feeling
TIP: Just don't go overboard, you don't want your old connections standing in the way of you making new ones which will help to banish your homesickness.
Bring comfort to your new home
You'll be spending a lot of time in your new house after your move, so you might as well take the time to make it feel like your home. The more comfortable you make it, the quicker your homesickness will abate.
- Establish a comfortable and regular routine in your home life
- Put out good mementos that remind you of your old home and loved ones
- Remove that new home smell by lighting some comforting and familiar candles or incense
- Re-decorate your house to put a little bit of yourself into the space
Explore your new community
Another way to cope with homesickness is to remove it by getting adjusted to your neighbourhood and exploring your new community.
- Drive around town and see what the area has to offer
- Take a walk to experience the neighbourhood organically
- Explore the area virtually to see what is happening and what there is to do
- Consider investing in a guidebook
Make some connections
Once you've gotten to know the community itself, begin to make new connections with the people around you like your neighbours and others in the surrounding area.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbours when you see them out and about
- Take part in community events such as fairs and block parties
- Join a local gym, the library, a religious group or other clubs and organizations that you're interested in
- Community centers and local newspapers are great places to find groups to join and things to do in the area
- If applicable, enroll your kids in school and meet other like-minded individuals
- Bring any dogs to the local dog park to interact with other pet owners in the area
Focus on "me" time
Fully immersed yourself in the community and still struggling with homesickness after your move? Gifting yourself with some "me" time might be the answer.
- Fill your days doing activities that make you happy
- Create a routine for your day to day life to adjust easier
- Get yourself into an exercise regimen to help cope with stress
- Immerse yourself in a feel-good book or movie
- Take a day to just relax and focus on yourself
Give yourself time to heal
As wiser people have said, time heals all wounds and you should not push yourself to get over your homesickness before you're ready. It will come in time as long as you're patient and get adjusted to this new experience by meeting new friends, becoming situated in the community and just generally getting settled into your new environment.
You can do it, we believe in you. Just don't forget to believe in you, too.