The best cure for the homesick expat
Homesickness is not so much a culture shock, or hatred for your newly found troubles whilst travelling for business. It’s about missing your life back at home. As much as you’re not defined by your job, it has brought you all the way across the world to serviced apartments in Singapore, and it’s more than natural to be homesick.
1. Inoculate yourself.
As they say, prevention is better than cure. Practise some time away from home. Get familiar with being away from home for short periods of time before your actual trip. This can be done in increments – try a day, a weekend away, and so on.
2. Start your trip as a tourist, then an expat.
Immerse yourself in the culture by playing the tourist. Get your camera out, take pictures, visit the famed attractions and dive right into the culture. This gets you right into the culture and your new way of life, helping you Gain Familiarity quickly.
3. Disconnect to connect.
If you’re on Social Media, you might get hit with FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out. You’ll scroll through and see friends and family enjoying life back at home with comforts that you know and love. Even though you’re the one overseas living the exotic life, missing out on fun or precious moments with the loved ones can be pretty tough to endure. Get off social media unless it’s to make new friends in your new country.
What helps, however, is reconnecting with loved ones – use Skype, Discord or Google Duo to reconnect via video calling.
4. Stimulate a routine from home.
Get a simple routine going, to gain familiarity. Especially if it’s a routine that can be adopted from home. Simple stuff like attending the same classes, or making the daily breakfast that you made back at home.
5. Bring mementoes from home to your new serviced apartment.
Having some mementoes to remind you of home and your loved ones can be comforting, but be sure to frame your mind. Having a reminder can be painful or it could motivate you. Tell yourself that you’re working overseas for their sakes. This serves as added motivation to get you going when you’re alone in a foreign country.
Getting your favourite food, watching your favourite TV show are other ways you can comfort yourself with little reminders of home.
6. Be in the pink of health to put a smile back on your face.
Unhealthy thoughts often stem from an unhealthy lifestyle. Keep healthy and curb bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking. Lace up your trainers and go for a jog or hit the gym.
Exercise has always been proven to increase the brain’s sensitivity for the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine (relieves depression, that could possibly come from homesickness) and the production of the endorphins, which are known to help produce happy feelings and reduce the perception of pain.
Exercise is nothing without a healthy diet either, so we’ve come up with some ways you can eat clean in Singapore. Also, get yourself a fully furnished serviced apartment, complete with a kitchen, and gym and swimming pool amenities to make living healthily easy.
7. Stop dwelling on life in the past.
It’s rather easy to compare how good life was at home to now, so this step is the hardest. Gear your mind to stop thinking about how good life was back at home. While reminiscing about happy memories once in awhile is nice, but overdo it and you’ll start resenting your life here. The best way to do this is to keep yourself busy and you won’t lapse into bad thoughts. Pick up hobbies, classes or a new sport with your colleagues.