4 tips to ease homesickness and keep your mind off of it.
As new international students start to live far away from home, they start missing their country, family, friends, food, and culture. Homesickness will become more prominent the longer it stays on your mind. Here are some ways to cope with homesickness and keep it under control, coming from my own experience and things my family has done.
Food has always been a big topic when it comes to homesickness, missing the taste of food cooked by family members, or the really familiar restaurant that one often goes to with the family. Looking for the taste back home will be a difficult challenge, kind of like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Given the right tool, it will become a much easier task though, and Google Maps will be there for you. Looking up your country’s restaurants will give you options that you can visit when you have the time. Trying out the restaurants will lead you to finding a place that you could say is the closest to the taste back home.
While I was living in Singapore, my family decided to look at all the restaurants, and visit them one by one. We did so until we found a restaurant called Casa Blanca (I believe that was the name), where we met Mario. Mario was the restaurant’s chef, who was also from Mexico. The way he cooked was closest to Mexico, and the ingredients used were specially chosen by Mario by going to Mexico and getting them imported to Singapore. We continued to visit the restaurant Mario worked at even after he moved to another restaurant.
Friends are part of the support network that one relies on for good and bad times. Feeling lonely could lead to depression, anxiety, and other types of bad moods that could affect your state of mind and studies. One of the best ways to find friends that are compatible with you is by joining clubs focusing on things that you like to do. It makes it easier for you to find a group of friends that you will fit in without any issues in the long run. Before coming to the U.S., I used to practice Taekwondo, where I met people that practiced martial arts too. We got along really well and even now, I still message a friend from Taekwondo on a weekly basis.
YouTube is a great tool to learn things that you don’t know about. Cooking is one of them, and learning how to cook your country’s food is also going to be a way to improve your mood. If going to restaurants is not a viable option, learning how to cook will have a similar effect. Trying to find some ingredients might be difficult due to the difference in local products, but online shopping could potentially fix that problem. There is no better taste of home than learning the recipes from your family and recreating them.
Another way to decrease homesickness is by being active. Being active has a lot of benefits that will not only help decrease homesickness and in turn, show improvement in other areas such as studies. Physical activities done regularly will help decrease the risk of injury. As you work your muscles, they start to become more flexible and muscle memory develops; while exercising, you use your balance to maintain a stable position, which will help you become more stable and less likely to fall. Focusing on the activity will decrease the risk of injury, allow you to enjoy it, and block negative thoughts that might pop up. Doing activities such as hiking, swimming, jogging, and snow sports will not only let you meet others with the same interests, but it will also help you sleep better as you will be tired from all the fun and activities you did throughout the day.
Ayavitl Acalli Gonzalez Navarro, who goes by Acalli, was born in Mexico and moved with his family to Singapore when he was 12. He is currently a student and International Peer Mentor at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.
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