I cannot begin to describe the sadness I feel, when I talk about being far away from home. Being far away from home for me feels like a disease that doesn’t have a cure. You just feel hopeless because everything is temporary. You either go back home each year to see your family or your family visits you. Days go by so fast when you see your family just to know that at the end you’ll have to part your ways. The only permanent solution that I feel that could resolve this issue is if your family decided to move to America to be closer with you. But not everyone can do that.
I can empathize with people whom are living alone with no relatives and no family close to them. I completely understand. That is the situation that I am currently in. But I have found ways to cope with being homesick. I’m not going to give you short term solutions e.g watch a movie, distract yourself, hangout with friends & etc. I want you to feel that these solutions are long-term and will give you relief and make you grow at the same time. Nothing makes me more happier when I see myself improving physically and mentally.
Here are three ways to cope with homesickness:
- Gym: Whether its a good day or bad day. The gym is my go-to place. I love the gym. “The gym is the cheapest form of therapy” one of my friends told me. Now that I think of it, she was right. If you contact a therapist in America it could range from $300 ++ . The gym is not that expensive compared to getting a therapist. I want to be honest with you guys. When I’m homesick I turn to Vietnamese food. I crave all these sorts of dishes because it makes me feel like I’m at my grandma’s house. But at the end it hurts me. It hurts me from attaining my fitness goal. Invest in the gym and try to avoid (it will take some time) to find comfort in food. People gain weight because of stress and emotional eating. No matter how sad you are. Turn to the gym. It will only do you good even if you don’t feel like going. Just keep moving. Don’t sit at home crying and sleeping all day (because I’ve done that) GET OUT THERE. KEEP MOVING. You deserve to make yourself a priority.
- Read: Be informed. Be inspired. When I was sad, lonely and didn’t have a car yet. I had no option but to stay at home. I took comfort knowing that I could occupy my days reading at home. I will make one blog post of all my favorite books soon. Strive to read something each day. I make a goal for myself that by the end of each week I want to learn something new from different topics such as; health, sports, psychology, food, travel and shopping. Reading will help you relieve stress, allow you to learn new words/phrases and help you improve focus, concentration and give your mind a sense of relaxation. “Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.” Richard Steele.
- Cooking: The most important tool for any student studying abroad. I do not know why schools don’t teach important life skills e.g; laundry, cooking, getting a car and so on. Its such a shame. I know many of my friends including myself who came to America and did not know how to cook anything! All I knew how to cook was just fried egg and instant noodles. Now I look back I’m so embarrassed of myself. I’m so glad I started learning how to cook in America 🙂 Cooking has helped me save money. Cooking also has helped me learn about the different kinds of kitchen utensils and how to take care of them to make them last longer. I learnt how to cook some of my favorite Japanese and Vietnamese dishes too! I love Nabeyaki Udon and Vietnamese Caramelized Fish with rice. I’ve also took some time during my spring break to take several cooking classes. I have so much respect for Jacques Pépin and Julia Child. Cooking for me is a skill and art. I aspire to work hard and cook great meals for my family and loved ones one day! In my opinion, its a skill that can also help you win hearts of people. I think everyone loves good food! So if you practice your cooking skills well enough you can go home and show it off to your parents and friends!
Homesickness hurts at the beginning. But over time when you learn how to occupy yourself with daily activities it will help you relieve the stress. My schedule in America is: School – Gym – Homework and read. I try to minimize the time I’m at home alone because when I have too much free time thats when I start thinking of family and feeling scared. Off course there will be days when you’re so sad and think of your loved ones but then you have the chance the next day to wake up and keep going. Just keep going and don’t for any second give up on your dreams. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. But remember that its okay to embrace how you feel by either calling your friend, writing down in your journal or listening to music. Or what I like to do is cry it all out then go to the gym. We all have different ways of coping. But its how you rise up. Think of what memories you want to create when you’re living abroad. Do you want to look back and see that even when you were sad, lonely and home sick you still got up and kept going? Or do you want to look back and feel that all you did was complain, sat home and cried and wished you could be somewhere else instead of living in the present moment?
Everything will be fine.
You deserve to make yourself a priority.
I hope you like this post and the picture above! It was at a beautiful Japanese garden.