Homesickness During Your Internship
Whether they’re thousands of miles away or ten miles from their doorstep, homesickness affects everyone. As an intern, living in a new country–even if for only a short time, can propel the feeling of homesickness farther.
When you first come to America, saddled with hopes for a bright future, you may feel as though you can conquer anything. But after a while, being away from loved ones for so long can cast a shadow over a joyous time.
If you’re not careful, homesickness can creep in.
It’s important to know homesickness is a completely normal emotion. But it can also lead to bigger problems that can negatively impact your time in America. To make the most out of your internship here in the US, take strides to combat your sadness.
Here are seven tips to help soothe your soul and keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy.
It’s not a sign of weakness
Homesickness is completely normal response to an emotional journey across the world. In fact, a bit of homesickness shows the strong connection you have with your family and home. Beating yourself up over being sad or missing your loved ones will only make your situation worse. Instead, embrace your emotion. Name it and determine what you plan on doing about it.
Social activities can help
When you’re feeling down, your natural tendency is to stay locked in your room. Possibly hugging a pillow or listening to music. And while this is okay on occasion, to lessen the effect homesickness, too much ‘room time’ is not the answer. Instead, get out of the house. Gather with coworkers or friends. Visit a coffee shop or other social hang out where you can engage with others in a friendly manner. It doesn’t have to be much, but try to do something that will get your mind off your sadness for a little while.
The idea of coming to America can also bring big ideas of what daily life will be. You may have visualized a new adventure taking place daily. Or perhaps painted a picture of your job life that is far from reality. Keeping your hopes in check will decrease your disappointment when expectations aren’t met.
Bring some comforts from home
Be sure to bring an item or two from home. A framed photo, blanket, or pillow. Any small trinket that when you see or smell, it instantly puts a smile on your face.
Exercise or any type of physical activity will release endorphins into your system. When you’re feeling especially sad, go for a run or long walk to boost your mood. This will not only lift your spirit; it will also give you the opportunity to see the city in a new light. A new perspective can drastically change your mood as well.
Calling home is usually the first impulse to take when feeling sad. However, it can be very expensive and in some cases, it can actually increase homesickness. If you do decide to call home, be honest with your family. Let them know you miss them and you love them.
Talk it over
Sometimes, just talking about a concern or fear can make you feel so much better. Talk about your homesickness with someone you trust. Together, come up with a course of action that best suits your personality and schedule.
Dealing with Homesickness as an Intern
Whether its surrounding yourself with lighthearted people, sharing a good laugh with friends, or even watching a funny movie, sharing activities with friends is the key element to reducing homesickness.