It doesn’t matter if you’re a frequent traveler, or if you’ve lived abroad for years — almost all of us have experienced the ache of homesickness from time to time. The feeling of missing home can make it harder to focus and easier to feel isolated, yet there are ways we can beat the stress and carry little pieces of home with us wherever we go.
We asked members of the Thrive community to share the ways they’ve coped with the stress of feeling homesick. Although no other place is quite like home, their suggestions will help you find comfort and connections when you’re far away from the place (and people) you love.
Reach out to loved ones
“I send a simple message to my loved ones which, more often than not, results in a picture reply. This makes me smile from ear to ear. Tears well up and I feel deeply present. I soften, and reach out to those around me who might be experiencing a similar emotion. Shared experience not only comforts me and those I’m currently with, but also builds and strengthens my ‘now’ family. Cliché as it sounds, home is where the heart is and love lives in me always.”
—Meris Gebhardt, meditation expert, New York, NY
Find your go-to places
“I moved 2,000 miles from home after college. I found that little things made me feel at home in my new city, like getting acquainted with local stores and finding a new place to practice yoga. I hung out at the pool of my apartment complex to meet people and also reached out to people at my new job.”
—Natalie Bonfig, writer and speaker, St. Paul, MN
Embrace your current relationships
“I’m a homebody, so I still get homesick from time to time. I love to be surrounded by the smell of my mom’s cooking, my cats running around, my dad fixing my car in the garage, and relaxing on the couch with my sister. When I’m not physically at home, I embrace my amazing relationships with my boyfriend and close friends, who make it feel like home when I’m away from home.”
—Melissa Muncy, content marketing, San Francisco, CA
Develop a routine and stick to it
“I have felt homesick while overseas, and also when moving to different states. When you move states, it’s like hitting the reset button. There is a thrill with all of the newness and yet, a gnawing feeling that you are missing something. When I feel homesick, I try to find a routine — something that allows me to commit my time and energy. This puts my focus somewhere productive. Even through loss, there is a way to feel cared for. When you are homesick, go to that place — the family that takes you in over the weekends and the vacant holidays, the ones who welcome you and serve you a hot dish — that’s the place to go when you feel homesick. Find a routine and turn to the people who love you sincerely and welcome you with open arms.”
—Josh Neuer, licensed professional counselor, Greenville, SC