Coping With Homesickness During Festive Season In The USA


Raksha Bandhan is just a stone’s throw away, and it seems like everywhere we turn, social media and brands are making sure we don’t forget. These festivals are an excellent opportunity to rekindle ties with family. 

Still, Indian immigrants living abroad also present unique challenges, stirring up feelings of FOMO and loneliness.

Amidst the Indian festivities, many of us in the US eagerly anticipate the chance to return to our roots in India and bask in the glow of family celebrations. Yet, a segment of us cannot break away from work commitments, leaving us alone in a new country. 

One often feels alone and excluded and often misses out on fun during these days. 

With everyone posting their party images and videos on their social media handles, this often leads to depression and a fear of missing out on fun among some of us.


While nothing can truly replicate the comfort of being near loved ones, here are some tips you can consider to help alleviate feelings of isolation during festive times while living abroad.

1. Connect with others:


To counter homesickness and solitude, embrace the opportunity to make new connections. Sharing a relaxing meal and laughter with friends, accompanied by a glass or two of wine, can uplift your mood while allowing you to familiarize yourself with your new environment. Don’t hesitate! Extend invitations to coworkers or classmates for a meal or a drink. If you enjoy cooking, consider hosting them for a home-cooked feast. Remember that fellow expats are sailing in the same boat, and they’ll likely welcome new friendships and companionship. Also, locals often delight in introducing you to their hometown, so feel free to inquire. Your next lifelong friend could be just around the corner.

2. Build A Strong Support System


The feeling of loneliness often accompanies homesickness. Being far from your family, friends, and familiar support network can be overwhelming. However, even though your loved ones are now a considerable distance away, you can still build a similar support system in your new country. A valuable approach is to become part of a local community, forming a close bond with a native friend who can welcome you into their family gatherings, offer assistance during times of uncertainty, and provide a compassionate ear when facing a tough day.

3. Open Up About Your Emotions


You might be the only individual not instantly captivated by your new surroundings. Still, being homesick is a shared experience, and you’re probably not the only one in your situation. You might be pressured to maintain a positive attitude throughout your journey, mainly if your initial expectations were high upon arrival. You might also feel obligated to present a cheerful demeanor when communicating with people back home. 

However, there’s no shame in experiencing homesickness. Remember, it’s a shared sentiment that many encounter, so discussing your feelings can lead to understanding and support from others.

4. Convert your house/living space into a ‘cozy’ home


Adjusting to a new environment can trigger anxiety, as humans thrive on routine. Although you can’t transport all your belongings from home, you can make your new space comfortable and inviting. 

This will empower you with a sense of control over your surroundings. Since homesickness often stems from not feeling like your new country or city is here, transforming your living area into a cozy haven can make a significant difference. Invest time and effort in personalizing your surroundings, befriend your neighbors, and take steps to cultivate a sense of belonging in this unfamiliar place. Even small changes can contribute to a more welcoming environment. If home improvement isn’t your forte, explore local spots that evoke comfort and familiarity, such as libraries, cafes, parks, or music venues; these can also become your second home away from home.

5. Prioritize Self-Care:


While feelings of isolation can sometimes be overwhelming, you can always take matters into your own hands. Although moving abroad can bring many changes, not everything has to shift. If you enjoyed hobbies, groups, or teams back home, consider seeking similar experiences in your new environment. Engaging in activities you love can restore balance and routine to your daily life, adding a touch of familiarity to your new surroundings. 

These routines can be maintained, whether it’s a sports activity, a book club, rock climbing, yoga, or playing in a band. Don’t feel compelled to let go of what brings you joy. Chances are, others are pursuing the same interests in your new location. Research a bit to connect with them, and you might discover new friendships 

6. Establish a daily routine:


Magic in the mundane—Design a daily and weekly routine that suits your lifestyle. Beyond setting a consistent wake-up time and enjoying a hearty breakfast, add some enjoyable and engaging activities. This could involve exploring local grocery markets or arranging meet-ups with friends for drinks or sports games on specific days. Studies indicate that a sense of control over your routine can help reduce homesickness-related stress.

7. Plan a Getaway:


Consider taking a weekend trip from the city to places like the beach or the mountains. This break will offer solace to your mind and remind you of the reasons you embarked on your journey abroad. Such moments allow you to detach from technology, a rarity nowadays. Embrace this chance for quality alone time with a book or journal, free from the distractions of phones, TVs, and the internet, providing a rejuvenating experience for your soul.

8. Engage in learning:


Studies have revealed that homesickness often leads to absent-mindedness. Keeping your mind active through daily learning is beneficial. This is an ideal moment to study a new language, master your host country’s cherished recipes, or embark on a yoga, martial arts, or diving class you came across at your beloved coffee shop. 

Aligning this learning experience with your host country’s culture enhances the connection. After all, your purpose is to engage in this vibrant culture fully!

9. Host a festive gathering:


As a Desi living in the USA, celebrating Indian festivals can be a way to share your rich cultural heritage with new friends and acquaintances. Organizing a get-together or event on these special occasions can create cultural exchange and bonding opportunities. Invite your American friends and neighbors to the festivities, introducing them to traditional Indian customs, rituals, and delicious cuisine.

Hosting such events helps you feel more connected to your roots and fosters community in your new surroundings. It’s a chance to break down cultural barriers, educate others about your traditions, and embrace the diversity surrounding you.

This cultural exchange can lead to deeper connections, understanding, and appreciation among different communities, making your celebrations more meaningful and memorable. 

So, spread the joy of Indian festivals by opening your home and heart to your new friends in the USA.

For more trending stories, follow us on Telegram


Source link

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.