I’ve been feeling very homesick lately. Since David and I moved to the city 10 months ago we have yet to make a trip back to Colorado. Don’t get me wrong, I love New York City and all it has to offer, but I miss my family, hometown friends and some of the easiness of Colorado life (ie no trudging the laundry bag down 5 flights of stairs and around the corner to have clean clothes). I know, big boo-hoo for me. I love my new life, but an unfortunate side effect to uprooting yourself to a new place is missing some people, places and things you “left behind.”
Whether you are in a new city temporarily or permanently here are some healthy ways to handle feelings of being homesick:
- Get to Know your New Home: One thing I do love about living in NYC is that there is a smorgasbord of fun to be had. From cultural and historical attractions to restaurants, community events and time on the streets, a day of moping on the couch is out of the question. Buy a city guide and learn about all the exciting options, important landmarks or special places you can visit. Consider joining the myriad of organizations or community groups that your city offers so you can surround yourself with new people and make some new friends. You will quickly get to know the rhythm of your city and the more time you spend out and about the more quickly you can call your new place home!
- Make a Calling Plan: Your loved ones back home are just a phone call away! As you settle into your life try to maintain consistent communication so you have the opportunity to share stories about all the new things you are experiencing and hear about what is taking place back home too. David and I try to use Skype and/or Facetimeat least once a week to play catch up with family and friends. Hearing their voices is comforting, but seeing people’s faces makes you feel as if you are at home, chatting it up in the living room. Make a healthy communication plan that works for you.
- Stay Active: Instead of sulking in feelings of despair, get up and move. Joining a gym or a fitness group of sorts will keep you active, balance your mood and boost your connection with your new environment. From time to time I partake in the races hosted by the New York Road Runners which are always enjoyable times through the city’s parks. Many cities have similar running clubs or fitness-oriented groups you can join. Even if you are feeling homesick while on vacation or an extended business trip, a sweat session is sure to help.
- Take a Trip Down Memory Lane: Your new city may offer tons of fun places to go and great new hangout spots, but there is definitely something nostalgic about visiting a location that screams “home.” New York has amazing shopping and great restaurants, but I have been yearning for a mall and a visit to The Cheesecake Factory because that is something that I would do in Colorado with dear friends. So, for my birthday, my friend Shannon rented a car and took me to New Jersey so I could have a small taste of home. It was the perfect escape from the city…although we didn’t get to shop because the mall was closed! Find the places that remind you of home and visit them frequently.
- Plan a Visit Home: If you are able to afford it, a short visit home will definitely get you out of your funk. David and I are working on making this happen, but were financially unable to do so until recently. So this visit home has been a long time coming! In the meantime, plan small trips or activities for the near future because having something planned that you are looking forward to will keep your mind off of thoughts about home. Keep your eye out for Groupons (and the like) for unique daytrips or opportunities for get-togethers in new places.
- Take Everything One Day at a Time: Feeling sad from time to time is normal. If you start feeling down, try to switch your current state of mind into a more positive place. Make a list that highlights the positive components of your new living situation. Even though I live in a city with millions of people, my wonderful husband and great friends, at times, I can feel lonesome. When this happens I try to engage in activities that will take my mind off my unwanted feelings like a coffee stop with friends, a date night with the hubby or simply reading a book. Some days will be easier than others and a pity party or two is bound to happen, but you can definitely defeat feeling homesick by staying busy and focusing on the present instead of what you are missing back home.
But in much better news than managing homesick feelings…the winner of my Attune Foods giveaway has been chosen!
Have you ever gone through a phase of feeling homesick? What did you do to battle the blues? Tell me about it below!