23 Ways To Feel A Little Less Homesick
"I use the same detergent my mom uses."
1. Cook some traditional dishes from your hometown.
"Get recipes from where you are from (either from parents, grandparents or a niche cookbook) and make that food. Invite new friends over to share it, and bring it to any and all potlucks. My non-Louisiana friends LOVE my gumbo, and I never made it until I left Louisiana. Food is the best way to connect with your former home while simultaneously being more comfortable in your new home."
—Amy Guidry, Facebook
2. When it comes to shows and books, choose ones that hail from your home country.
"When I moved countries I found British comedies comforting — we have a very specific and unique sense of humour and the conversations in shows like Gavin and Stacey reminded me of the ones we always have at home. I always found football comforting too, probably because it was always on in my house growing up, and watching English league games feels like being home."
"I'm French, from Montreal, living in Kelowna, British Columbia. When I'm feeling homesick, I watch Québec TV shows, read a book from a Québec author, organize a dinner with friends the way we do them in Montreal!"
—Catherine Alary, Facebook
4. Get yourself a care package.
"Have someone send a care package of things you can only get from home."
5. If you're able to, consider adopting a pet.
"I chose to go to law school in a city that was farther away from home than I'd ever lived and for the first few months, I was wildly homesick. The thing that really curbed my feelings of missing home was adopting my dog, Barkley. Having a sweet pup that was always happy to see me really helped combat those feelings of loneliness. Plus, searching for dog-friendly bars introduced me to cool parts of town that I wouldn't necessarily have explored otherwise."
6. If you can't adopt a pet, visit some animals at a shelter.
"I definitely recommend going to an animal shelter, especially if you have pets at home. Being around animals and getting to hug and play with them can really help with depression, anxiety, homesickness, etc."
7. Or stay in touch with your family's dog with FitBark.
"I got my dog, who lives with my family, a FitBark activity tracker. My mom has a bluetooth connected to him and it syncs throughout the day. I downloaded the app and can follow him through my own account to see how he slept, his play time, and his steps. It's so exciting for me and makes me feel closer to my family even though I am so far away!"
8. Check out some farmers markets or festivals.
"Try going to farmers markets or festivals. It helps you to learn about agriculture, seasonal foods, and artists in your new town, and gets you outside around people. Maybe you'll find a cool place to hang out, even if just on your own. Send pictures to family and friends back home of the cool stuff you are seeing so that you feel like you are sharing the experience with them."
—Liz Brown, Facebook
9. Act like a tourist.
"I used to go to really touristy places and act like a tourist. I used to walk up and down the Champs-Élysées in Paris and Times Square in New York just to feel like I would be going home at the end of my trip. My trip lasted eight years."
10. Find a new hobby, like ultimate frisbee.
"I suffered greatly from homesickness. I didn't have a roommate and was 800 miles away from home. One thing that really helped was joining the ultimate frisbee team. I met tons of people from different grades and usually the frisbee teams are more relaxed. You don't need to have played previously to join."
11. Or you could learn to play the ukulele.
"I'm a freshman in college and whenever I start to miss home I try and do something that takes a lot of attention that reminds me of home. My sister plays the ukulele and we used to sing together all the time, so I've been trying to learn how to play the ukulele myself. It gives me something to concentrate on other than my homesickness, and it also makes my dorm feel a little more like home."
12. Bring something comforting from home with you, like a blanket.
"I'm a junior in college and was feeling really homesick this past spring. I went home one weekend and before leaving for school again, my mom gave me one of our blankets. It's one that we've had forever and has always been in our living room, so it actually helped to have a comfortable and tangible piece of home with me."
13. Focus on decorating your new place.
"For me it was kind of an odd solution: decorating! I felt so lonely and my place didn’t feel like home. But I realized staring at blank white walls wasn’t helping. I felt like I was in a hotel rather than a home. So, I started hanging things and placing little knick-knacks around, and soon enough it felt more homey."
"I try to incorporate some decor that reminds me of where my mom lives, things I know she might have in her home or related items. Also, when I visit I always snag something as a keepsake — maybe a clothing item or a picture or something she's stashed away in storage and wouldn't notice."
—Sara Heinemeyer, Facebook
14. And fill it with plenty of familiar smells.
"I'm from Northern California, so the smell of the redwoods always reminds me of home. One Christmas my mom got me perfume oil scented like redwood bark and it was an absolute godsend. Whenever I was feeling homesick I used to dab some on my wrist and sniff it throughout the day. Never underestimate the power of smell!"
15. An easy smell to replicate: your family's laundry detergent.
"I use the same detergent my mom uses. It honestly helps so much."
16. Carry a photo of your family.
"It always made me feel better to have a picture of my family with me — in my pocket or wallet, just some where close at all times."
18. Or make a Spotify playlist that reminds you of home.
"I have a playlist on Spotify with songs that specifically remind me of my friends and my old home, and when I'm feeling homesick I listen to it."
19. Listen to your favorite audiobook while you walk.
"I moved from Michigan to Arizona when I graduated from college and didn't know anyone. To help with the homesickness I walked to a local park every day and listened to my favorite books on my phone. The walking helped me get to know my new neighborhood and the books provided comfort because they were familiar."
20. Call your people.
"Give your mom and dad a call every now and again. I joined the army and left home when I turned 17 and it was the first time I had been away in my life. I truly believe that parents have some sort of magical power that allows them to always say the right thing at the right time. They love you and they understand what you're going through and their job is to make you feel better, so let them!"
21. Keep a "date" goal.
"Always keep a 'date' goal! This works with students in college, long-distance relationships, or just being separated from your family in general. Talk with your family and set a date for the next time you’ll see them. If you’re ever having a rough day when you miss them, you can always say to yourself, 'I’ll see my family in a month, and I’ll be okay until then.'"
22. Don't be afraid to let the sadness out.
"Let yourself feel homesick if you need to. If you're feeling down, don't hide it and don't hold it in. Spend a day Skyping with people back home. Maybe even share all of that with someone at your new home if you're comfortable. Then, remind yourself of what you love about that new place. Make a list of places you'd like to visit there, things you'd like to do, and go do them!"
Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.