How To Combat Homesickness As An Adult
When you think of homesickness, you might think back to the first time you went away on a school camp, or when you left home for uni – something you’re supposed to grow out of, right?
But homesickness in adults is all too real. Without your usual framework of support around you, feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety and insecurity can be all too overwhelming at times.
The reasons why adults feel homesick can come down to a bunch of different circumstances. Some of us might really miss our mum and dad, our old group of friends, our family pets or just the general sense of home. Some of us miss an amalgamation of all those, and more – ouch.
While it can feel soul crushing at times, it’s not the end of days – I promise there are ways to cope. After reading these helpful tips you’ll feel absolutely no emotional attachment to the past and can continue living your life with a clean slate.
Kidding. I’m not about to turn you into a detached robot person, just offer some support, from one person prone to homesickness to another. Here are some tips on how to combat your homesickness as an adult.
Allow yourself to feel sad
Feelings of homesickness often come in waves and when it hits hard, it can feel like you’re drowning a bit. Acknowledge these feelings when they come up, because putting on a brave front and suppressing them is firstly: not healthy and secondly: bloody emotionally exhausting.
If you need to, have a good cry – it’ll make you feel better.
Although you have to allow yourself to feel sad, don’t wallow in it. It’s natural to experience of sadness, but it’s also important to make efforts to pull yourself out of it too.
Take care of yourself
This is how you pull yourself up. When in a shitty mood, it’s easy to neglect day-to-day tasks that make you a happy, healthy and functioning human person.
While it might be tempting to hit the couch at the end of the day, order take away or have froot loops for dinner (don’t @ me) and think about how much you miss home, it’s not healthy and will ultimately make you feel even worse.
If you need some inspo, check out or tips on self care.
Make some new pals
Who needs friends when you have the hit ‘90s television sitcom Friends, am I right? No seriously – when I first moved out of home, instead of getting out, making real life friends and socialising I literally locked myself in my bedroom and re-watched every single episode.
In retrospect, that was really dumb and just made me feel more isolated – who’d have thought?
I get it though – who needs to make new friends when you have perfectly good ones back at home? After all, nobody is ever going to stack up.
A totally normal thought process, but you’re wrong. I mean, they might not stack up, but they’re not meant to! You’re going to continually make new friends throughout your life whether you like it or not. At work, at university, friends of friends, at parties, the list goes on.
It’s important to form a new support network that you can lean on when you need (and vice versa). Finding fun and likeminded people as an adult can be daunting and weird, so check out our tips on making new friends that aren’t terrifying.
Stay in touch with home
Stay in touch, within reason – it all depends on how it makes you feel. If you get comfort from chatting with friends and family on the daily, that’s great! If it makes you feel even worse, you may want to limit contact, even just for a little while.
It’s kind of like a break up… sometimes the best way to get over it is to distance yourself for a while.
When it comes to planning visits, going back home before your ready can be tough – enough to make you not want to leave again. If possible, get your family or friends to come visit you at your new digs instead. At least this way will save a teary drive or flight home.
Talk to someone
Often the best way to cope is to vent to your heart’s content. Whether this means unloading all your feels on a new friend, an old friend, your mum or even a professional, actually talking about it can feel like massive weight is lifted from your shoulders.
And trust me, even if you think there’s nobody to talk to – there is. Support services like beyondblue have advice forums and even numbers you can call to talk to real people about what’s going on.
Homesickness is normal, and everyone experiences it! It’s fine to feel down in the dumps for a hot minute, but make sure you make positive moves like these ones to try and combat it.
(Lead Image: Blackish)
Bradley is a writer from Newcastle who enjoys travel, Tina Fey and is a connoisseur of cheap red wine.