Some folks get homesick when they spend a night away in a hotel, but if you’re taking advantage of our European removals service, it’s likely you’re going to have to deal with more than a few weeks away from your native soil! Homesickness can break even the most hardened of folks, but there are usually enough similarities in each case to make some of the following five tips effective measures against the worst of it.
1. Be aware of the normal cycle of culture shock and homesickness
Most folks find they experience homesickness as a W-curve. Once we’ve tidied up the last of the removal packing materials and you’re free to explore, the honeymoon period begins! This period can last anything from a day to a month or so and it finished off by a gradual slide into melancholy when you begin to miss things like your family and friends, favourite takeaway shop or familiar TV adverts. Gradually this feeling will lift as you adapt to your new home. The next dip usually occurs when you relocate back home and gradually acclimatise again. Be aware of what’s normal for you, especially if you’ve suffered from depression or anxiety in the past.
2. Get involved
Playing an active role in your new home can be daunting, especially if you’ve relocated on your own. But having a friend or two to spend time with can be an exceptionally effective way to deal with homesickness and culture shock. Use personal interests like sports and hobbies to find like-minded people.
3. Talk about it
Sometimes a chat over a nice brew can help the weight of homesickness lift significantly. Don’t call home at every opportunity to complain, you need a support network in the place you’re physically living in. If you’re on a placement, talk to your host family or project organiser. If you’re a professional working abroad for the first time, there are likely protocols within your company for handling culture shock and home sickness. There’s no shame in getting it off your chest!
4. Give yourself time
The rule of thumb is that it takes around five months to really figure out whether you want to be somewhere. It doesn’t matter whether we’re handling removals to Brussels or you’re heading out to the Far East alone; give it five months and then reassess your feelings. Five months isn’t much in the scale of life, and you’ll kick yourself if you go home early and then think “Well it doesn’t seem so bad now I know home is still here!”
5. Stay healthy
Throwing yourself into an ambitious marathon training schedule may not be for everyone, but definitely give yourself a little TLC in the health department. Improving your physical fitness and all-round health (yes, that includes saunas and a bit of pampering!) will give you a real sense of achievement and a positive outlook on your new situation.