One of my best friends just accepted a job in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was so excited about the position and setting up her new apartment that she never even considered how she would feel after the moving chaos settled. It wasn’t until the initial excitement faded that she felt her first surge of homesickness.
Feeling homesick is a perfectly normal and almost always inevitable, especially after your first move. Speaking from experience, I know that feeling homesick can be overwhelming sometimes. But, in order to have a successful move, whether it be for work or personal reasons, it’s really important to keep a positive attitude, even when things seem tough. Below are three easy ways to cope with feeling homesick in your new location.
1. Stay in touch – but not too much: In today’s world staying in touch is almost too easy. Between social media, Skype, and mobile apps, you literally have the capability to know your loved ones’ every move. While this is great for keeping in contact with your friends back home, you want to make sure it doesn’t take over your life.
If you spend all of your free time chatting with friends and family, you will lose the opportunity to make friends in your new city. If you refuse to make a life in your new home, the feeling of homesickness will never leave. Set a limit on how long you spend on social media or on the phone with people back home each week. Take some time to go out and meet new people and create new memories.
2. Embrace your new home: Get involved in your community. Volunteer, join a gym, visit community events, walk around your neighborhood….do anything! It’s important to find things that you love about your new home so that you aren’t always comparing it to your old one. No two communities are the same. Comparing homes won’t solve any issues or make you feel better. It will only isolate you and prevent you from becoming close with people who already love your location.
3. Be patient: It takes time to adjust to a new home and city. In fact, when I first moved to Wilmington it took me about six months to really feel at home. To be honest, I think it took so long because I was traveling back to New York almost every weekend to visit my friends and family. But once I started spending time in Wilmington and made an effort to meet people, I started to have fun and enjoy myself. I know it can feel like that will never happen when you’re focused on feeling homesick, but give it time. If you put yourself out there and make an effort to enjoy your new city, eventually you will feel better.
Nobody likes to feel homesick, but everybody does at some point or another. Remember these three tips to help you cope and you’ll feel at home in no time.