Homesickness can affect any of us when moving to a new place, far away from family and friends. So here are some of the best ways to combat it.
Whether an individual is moving for interning, teaching, or studying, moving abroad can be very complicated.
Through the world of YouTube and social media, many users only show the benefits and positive experience of moving their lives abroad.
However, many users hinder showing the negative sides of changing their lives in these drastic manners.
Moving abroad can be energising and eye-opening, but shows several challenges surrounding adapting to various cultures and environments.
One main challenge faced by individuals that move abroad for the first time is homesickness.
According to GoOverseas.com, homesickness essentially is a distinct form of emotional distress or anxiety that transpires from feeling disconnected from familiar faces and places.
Additionally, homesickness is heavily seen when individuals are forced out of their routine and comfort zone.
So, for a brief second, let us dismiss the Instagram stories and social media posts surrounding students studying chemistry in beautiful New Zealand or international business students having chill days in the parks of Amsterdam, and understand the difficulties adjusting to their new environment, causing a feeling of loneliness.
Confusion and hesitation defined as culture shock can arise from understanding language, culture, and environment through the lens of a homesick individual.
So how do people generally react to homesickness? Individuals have been known to overwhelmingly call friends or family to distinguish a cultural divide through their new-found home.
Other individuals have been known to critically compare everything in their new environment to their previous habitat, which can cause substantial withdrawal or rejection of the new local and social life.
As music is a powerful source of healing, here are three tips for dealing with homesickness abroad through music.
Explore Your New Home
Some travellers believe that an individual must start as a tourist to slowly adapt to the overall new culture. However, that is not always the case.
There is exciting energy around an individual when discovering their new homes abroad, away from the expensive tourist circles.
The streets of Paris can be filled with fabulous smells of new opportunities while the buildings of Rome continue to shed light on its dynamic history, exploring for oneself, is crucial.
Some individuals create an intimate bucket list for exploring the new country.
Researching interesting places such as the ten best concert venues or cafes in the city will allow the individuals to decrease their feelings of homesickness.
Music can guide individuals exploring endeavours effortlessly. The smooth sounds of Neo-Soul will ease the homesickness tension as one venture into new territory.
Neo-soul is a rhythmic and organic style of music that emerged from soul and contemporary rhythm and blues.
Artists such as Moonchild and Erykah Badu have managed to captivate calmness as music listeners swim in a pool of relaxation. This genre is perfect for narrating one’s travels through new environments.
Make Your Home Your New Stage
One of the best ways of removing homesickness from your mind and body is to meet new people in the new environment.
Making new friends and developing relationships with other individuals can ensure that homesickness will fade at a much faster rate.
Opportunities such as enjoying a live concert, and joining a music Facebook group with locals of similar interests, can help an individual with adapting to their new surroundings. Music has been a strong way for me to connect with other people through my years abroad.
As my love of Jazz pulses through my veins infectiously, venues such as the Jazz Dock in Prague, Czech Republic provided a lovely community of people that shared my love for dynamic music as well.
The exciting part about developing new relationships through music abroad, is that an individual will be introduced to new music, thus creating a cycle of shared music not only in the abroad country but back home as well.
Understand Your Mental Health!
A lot of things change when one moves abroad, however, one’s mental state does not have to change overwhelmingly.
Living in a new country can have extreme pros and cons towards a person’s mental health. It is important to recognise and understand the various issues that can arise through moving abroad.
To help maintain positive mental health outcomes, discovering new music regularly can bring balance and routine back into an individual’s daily life.
If an individual is a musician, forming a band can be an exciting but also a healthy way of channeling those homesick energies for better mental health.
Additionally, individuals must understand the value of ‘me’ time. Being alone doesn’t always need to be a negative thing
Embracing the calmness away from other beings and activities is a great way to check in with ourselves regarding our well-being and emotions.
Creating a ‘me time’ music playlist can be used to centre an individual through these needed times.
Homesickness is a very common occurrence for moving abroad, and it will not go away overnight. Through hard work and extreme effort to break down the depressive barrier, creative outlets such as music can help ease the unwanted pains
Is New Zealand on your travel list? Well it should be!
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