Dealing With Homesickness – Living Overseas and Working Abroad

We all like comfort, we all like things we know well and understand. Home is safe – home is easy. Move away from it for a bit and you soon realize you miss a lot of things. You miss home most when things go wrong such as when you’re down or sick. Birthdays and Christmas can be low points too.

Adjusting to a new surrounding, expectations, friends, and work routine takes a fair amount of time and patience. Moving away from home, voluntarily as in the case of overseas workers, expatriates and students has always led people to feel homesick.

In the case of expatriates, for instance, the depressive feeling of homesickness may cause the risk of losing their jobs, shame of being labelled as incompetent, the risk of not being able to move up the ladders in their career, or the prospect of unemployment, etc. By nature, we tend to resist change and struggle to hold on to familiar surroundings like the comforts of home, family, and friends. If you’re struggling to beat this depressive feeling, here are some homesickness tips to pick you up.

1. Keep in touch with your parents, wife/husband back home through email and digital pictures. This will help both of you adjust. But if you are lazy to write a letter and the cost of regular phone calls is the reason for your ten day fast, it’s probably time to make use of more modern technology. Send e-mail to each other or set up your own web site for correspondence from friends around the country.

2. A trip to the local food snack hang out or food joint can cure most anything. A roommate, friend, or someone you can confide in can help make your transition from home a little easier. You might even discover your friend is struggling with the same problems as you. Every once in awhile, watch CD movies and search out a favorite food or cook it at home. Familiar things from back home will cheer everyone up.

3. Talk about being homesick with your friends/ co-workers rather than bottling it up and hoping it will go away. This helps enormously and goes a long way to creating that ‘we are in this together feeling.

4. Try writing in a journal, diary or blog the next time you are feeling down. Just write down what’s on your mind and express some of your worries and fears. Over time, you can reflect on what you wrote and see how far you’ve come. You may even take up blogging as a hobby.

5. Social groups and events are a core part of your work experience. You could likewise volunteer to work with other expatriates or overseas workers from your own country at an expatriate club or organization. You might build new relationships and enjoy the satisfaction of helping others.

6. Now is a good time to remember your dreams and think about how much you can accomplish with a little effort and hard work. Write down what you want to accomplish and commit yourself to working towards your goals. Your attitude and confidence will improve as you progress.

7. See what recreational activities you can discover in your area. Find out what’s happening in your area. Attend a sporting event, concert or company sponsored program. Plan a weekend get-away with friends. Exploring your new surrounding will add some excitement to the daily grind of work. You may even meet new friends or find a favorite hang out.

Possibly, you may also request that a relative of yours such as your parent, spouse and children, could be sponsored by your company to visit you occasionally. This may be the mother, father or other relatives. This approach is likely to ensure that there is not substantial breakdown in the family relationship and reduce the feeling of missing dear ones, which is often at the centre of homesickness.

Reducing homesickness could also take into account an attempt to rebuild a socio-cultural network, however artificial it may be. For instance, in areas such as Saudi Arabia, Middle East nations or U.S.A. where Asians, Filipinos and American expatriates work for their respective companies, there could be joint efforts to set an expatriate network (e.g. Overseas Filipino Workers clubs) that could also include host country nationals. Cultural practices such as nightclubs, religious institutions (church, mosque) schools or childcare facilities could be set up jointly to provide a more cultural sensitive network for the expatriates. This is far from implying that you should cut yourselves off the host society. On the contrary you can learn from each other’s adjustment difficulties and successes at the same time as combating somehow the effects of home sickness.

A little homesickness is normal as you adjust to your new surroundings, but you can’t let it dampen your spirit. Preparation should chiefly be concerned with informing oneself about the circumstances in the host country; it should also crucially highlight the possibility that you may suffer some social and psychological isolation for some time before you become acquainted with the new environment, i.e. both physical and social. As part of the preventive methods, you should include plans for frequent return visits back home. Although this may add to your overall expenses, it will still remain cheaper than losing your job. 스포츠중계

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