Before we delve into this topic, let me say, I’m still dealing with it. I’ve always been a homebody. I was a momma and daddy’s girl from the very start. When I was a little girl, people called me my father’s shadow because I’d be stuck to his leg! My parents and I have always had a very close relationship. To me they were always the cool parents; and I love spending time with them. I have one brother and one sister; each with a boy and a girl. My nephews and nieces light up my life and it’s hard not to watch them grow up.
I’m sure you can imagine how bittersweet it was when I fell in love with a man who lived four states away (that’s about 9 hours driving!). Naturally my family was completely supportive because the husband/man wowed them and showed how much he loved lil ole me. Still, it was hard packing up all my things and moving so far away. I often have moments when I’m missing them so much it hurts. I decided to make a list of things I’ve done to help combat my homesickness and maybe it’ll help you too.
- Accept the fact that you are homesick and that’s OK. Sometimes I would try to “busy” myself into believing I wasn’t homesick. FAIL! It didn’t work and made the tears fall harder. Accepting and embracing it helped me to deal.
- Stay in Touch. I have a large family and a host of friends. Staying in touch can be easier said than done. Here is where technology can be your friend. Text messaging, emails, and phone calls will definitely help keep you connected. In my case, I can add this blog to the list. I’ve found it’s important to continue to share your everyday life with those you don’t see often. It makes that connection stronger and more alive.
- Visit often. The husband/man and I try to get to FL as often as possible. My parents don’t fly, so when they visit us they drive. I work from home so I have a bit more flexibility in my schedule. I’ve gone back home without the husband/man at times only because my schedule affords me that flexibility. While I’m there, I make the visit count. I don’t overload the visit with seeing too many people, because cramming too much in one trip is exhausting. I spend quality time with those I love.
- Hold on to memories and memorabilia. I have pictures all over the house of my family and friends. It makes me feel better to see them there. It’s like bringing them into my world here. I have pieces of jewelry, clothes and keepsakes that were given to me by family and friends and I keep them safe in special places so I feel connected.
- Embrace your new location. After we were married, I was so excited yet homesick at the same time. While I didn’t realize it at the time, I was subtly rejecting my new city. I lacked desire to get our and explore it and I felt like I was cheating on Jacksonville if I enjoyed Richmond. Once I let go of that feeling and got out and roamed, I started to enjoy the differences this place had to offer. I was eager to get out and try new things. And guess what, I found out I really like it here.
- Initiate new friendships. This was a toughie for me! I have incredibly substantial friendships that span my lifetime and quite honestly, I was good there. I didn’t have a strong desire to open myself up to new people. I created this lonely bubble when I first arrived. Thankfully, I’ve made great strides in breaking that. Now I’ve made some wonderful friends here that have warmed my heart. Plus I’ve learned there is room for all of the people I love.
- Give it time. Homesickness doesn’t disappear, but it does get better. In truth, I still miss my family and friends just as much as I did when I first arrived. However, I’ve learned how to cope. I’m coming up on almost four years of being in VA, and I feel like I’ve grown so much. But it took time. Be patient with yourself.
Well there ya go! My list of tips for combating homesickness. This list is by no means exhaustive. Please feel free to leave your tips in the comment section. I’d love to hear them.