What exactly is homesickness? Is it a form of depression?
It can be compared to having the blues. When we feel homesick, we tend to have negative thoughts about ourselves and our circumstances, leading to feelings that we can only be happy if we are elsewhere. It is very different to being clinically depressed, as homesickness is a temporary altered mood and we can take steps to pull ourselves out of it.
What steps can we take to cope with these feelings and enjoy the place where we are?
We might not be able to go home to the people we love most, but we can make a choice to accept the here and now. These simple mood boosters will make a big difference:
Step 1: Talk to someone about how you feel. Confiding in a friend will quickly improve your mood.
Step 2: Make a change to your routine. This could be something very simple, such as taking a different route to work or using the metro for a few days to give yourself a break from driving.
Step 3: Exercise. Even if you don’t feel like it, put on your trainers and do it. The endorphins that are released into the body during exercise are nature’s most powerful mood enhancer.
Step 4: Write it down. Keeping a journal is very therapeutic.
Step 5: Spread kindness. A simple act, such as giving way to another driver, paying someone a compliment or smiling at a stranger will quickly improve your own mood.
Step 6: Laugh. Watch a silly movie and avoid depressing ones. It will do you no harm to avoid watching the news for a few days.
Step 7: Listen to music. Music can improve our mood instantly, so press play on an energetic piece and listen to it for at least five minutes.
Step 8: Understand that these feelings will pass. Seasons pass and you won’t feel homesick forever.