How to Combat Homesickness

I’m about to get touchy-feely here, so prepare yourself. I talk about moving to New York allllll the time and mostly I’m talking about cool and exciting things (like casually seeing Jimmy Fallon) but there is a darker side to moving somewhere where you don’t know anybody.

And that’s homesickness.

Homesickness strikes out of nowhere and it’s the worst. I can’t walk by the central park zoo without tears stinging my eyes (the zoo smell is reminiscent of the midwest), and I have a nasty habit of listening to the song Temporary Home when I’m already feeling down about being away from the people I love.

Because I make bad choices.

Today I was listening to Spotify at work and All The Pretty Girls came on, and I have such strong associations with that song that instantly my heart began to hurt.

That song makes me think of driving around in my jeep with my friends during the summer and I realized that by the time I was home again my friends would all be gearing up to go their separate ways for the fall.

That threw me into a major funk.

I could lie and say that I’ve been adjusting perfectly to living here, but truth be told I miss home pretty often, and I’ve been feeling a lot of stress and overwhelm. I work at my internship all day and then come home, make dinner, and work on my blogs and social media until I sleep (usually falling asleep with my laptop open and lights on.)

I love my internship and being in New York, but I’ve had to learn a lot about coping with homesickness and I thought I could share my tips. Whether you’re gearing up to go to school in the fall or moving across the country like I did, hopefully these tips might help you.

homesick pup1

Cry it out.

I’m putting this one out there right off the bat: sometimes you just need a good cry. Don’t try to fight it, just go for it.

A few times since I’ve been here I’ve gotten caught up in the overwhelm and just needed a release. I put on my He is We playlist (throwback to the best year of my life, yo!) and give myself twenty minutes to let it all out.

From there I might get some ice cream or do yoga and I feel better. I don’t know why it works, but it does.

Do something exciting.

If you’re homesick – that means you’re somewhere new. Plan to do something that you could only do where you are. As much as you miss home, new places and experiences can help take your mind off of your pains.

For me, I usually go and get food. New York is famous for it’s cuisine, and I’ve been trying out all sorts of great vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Blossom is my favorite so far!

Meet new people.

Or hang out with people that you’ve already met! I am always so reluctant to go hang out with new people because I get social anxiety, but once I just do it I’m always so glad that I did!

If you don’t know where to start – consider being a creeper like me. Usually I comment on people’s IG’s by going through the #newyorkblogger or #nycblogger tag and ask people if they want to meet up.

Usually I get ignored (tbh), but I have made a few friends that way!

Skype your old people.

As great as New York is and as wonderful as the people I have met are, sometimes I just need a friendly face to talk to.

And honestly I’ve found that I have more to talk about with my friends now that we’re not seeing each other 24/7. Skype is a great way to catch up, and being able to actually see the people who you miss the most is great.

Unplug.

My overall funk started on Sunday, so I just laid in bed and while technically I didn’t completely unplug, I went through guided meditations on YouTube to calm and center myself.

I think if you focus on being very present in the moment and stop thinking about the past it’s easier to push feelings of homesickness aside.

Make plans.

I am lucky in that I know when I’m going home, as I’m just here for an internship. Knowing when I am going to see the people I love next makes my homesickness feel a lot better.

If this were a permanent move and I didn’t know when the next time I’d see my family was, this would be a million times more difficult. Having that countdown and saying ___ more weeks makes it OK.

If your move is less temporary than mine, make a plan for when you’ll see them next. Whether it’s six weeks or six months, it is fun to have something to look forward to!

Journal.

I’m writing a huge blog post on my introspections since moving here (like 6000+ words huge) and honestly journaling has kept me sane. I don’t have time to do a ton, but even just a short paragraph every night makes a huge difference in my mental state.

If you aren’t good at journalling, I recommend getting a guided book with writing prompts or questions to get you started.

Live in the moment & know it’s all going to be OK.

Adjusting is so hard. I thought that my move was going to be a breeze and that I would have no troubles. I was wrong.

While I could easily let the homesickness consume me, for the most part I’ve gotten good at letting myself feel it when it comes on, but then pushing it to the side.

Easier said than done, but just don’t dwell on it. Don’t ignore your feelings or bottle them up, just feel them when they come on and then move on.

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  • Ashlee • Sparkles by Ashlee

    I get homesick a lot, and these tips will definitely help me. I hope all is going well in NYC!

    sparklesbyashlee.com | faith, funny, & fulfilling dreams

    • Homesickness is no fun 🙁 I am glad that they’ll help you! And New York is super fun! It’s quite busy and hectic – I’m definitely eager to come home to the (far more welcoming) midwest haha. But it’s an adventure I’m happy to be on for now! We need to catch up soon 🙂

      • Yes, I love visiting cities but am always glad to come home! Glad to hear you are doing well! And yes we definitely need to catch up 🙂

  • Megan

    Aw I can totally relate to this. Whenever I go back to college I feel so terrible, it’s such a crushing sadness. It makes me wonder if I’ll ever grow up and stop getting so homesick when I leave home.

    • I totally feel that crushing sadness. I’ve been trying to change my mindset and think how lucky I am that I’ve got great people worth missing as terribly as I do!

  • I think that is my favorite photo you’ve ever shared on your blog. Great post! Hang in there girl!

    • Haha, thanks! Mine too! I found it on Unsplash (the best stocksite ever!)

  • You have all the right ideas for combating homesickness!
    These are great tips, I know when I left for college I could have used this list!
    xo, Amanda
    http://www.affordablebyamanda.com

    • Thank you, Amanda! Growing up and moving away is part of life, but MAN is it hard! I wish that I were better prepared for the homesickness of the bat!