Traveling the world or moving to a different city is exciting. The sense of adventure is what draws many to explore new parts of the world. But this adventurous spirit can have a downside. Being away from home for a long time can be difficult, especially during birthdays, weddings, and other milestone events.
Everyone suffers from homesickness in one way or another.
Some people feel it more than others. Homesickness can be as simple as missing a favorite home-cooked dish. It can also be as severe as feeling depressed and anxious because they feel disconnected from home — their friends, family, and everything else that's familiar.
What can start as exciting and new can quickly turn into a constant feeling of uncertainty.
What causes homesickness?
Everyone's different, and the way they experience homesickness is as unique as they are.
The most significant factor in being homesick is often the culture shock. You can bet that being in a new and completely different environment will trigger thoughts of being back home, where everything makes perfect sense. A person can quickly feel unwelcomed when simple tasks become challenging. Like finding something to eat that will agree with their stomach or urgently asking someone where the nearest washroom is.
That's why a person's attitude can considerably change how they feel. If someone thinks they're going to feel homesick, then that feeling will inevitably manifest itself. It's all about the state of mind. Thoughts influence a person's worldview, which is why it's vital to keep a positive attitude about traveling or moving abroad. Supportive friends and family back home plays an essential role in maintaining a positive outlook.
And unfortunately, sometimes people leave while feeling insecure about their relationships. This can become a huge stressor that people don't need. Knowing that there's a solid support group at home helps make people feel secure while traveling. There is no thought of losing connection with people if they are sure that they will be there when they get back.
It's about being a hundred percent enthusiastic about the adventure. Friends and family need to build confidence in the person who is away from home. Even a simple message like "We know you're going to do great!" can go a long way.
How can we help someone cope with homesickness?
There are ways you can help someone cope. With your support, they can power through their feelings of depression and anxiousness by addressing the problem straight on.
Help your friend get in a positive mindset.
Having positive conversations with someone back home can be very uplifting. It can help them trade their negative thoughts with positive ones. Instead of dwelling on what may be going wrong, talk about steps that can be taken to turn the situation around.
For example, if someone is finding a hard time making friends abroad, talk about ways to connect with new people. Or if they can't find food that agrees with them, do research together about nearby restaurants.
Encourage them to get out there and explore!
By familiarizing themselves with their new surroundings, they'll feel more at ease with it. Kind of like exposure therapy.
Being somewhere new means there are lots of new things to experience. Maybe that person is not seizing the moment. Motivate them to pick up a new hobby or plan an exciting day trip. It's hard to feel homesick when the mind is busy having fun.
You can also help your friend to simply talk it out.
Acknowledge the unpleasant fact that they're feeling homesick to make sense of it all. It's like the old saying, "Feeling is healing."
Cliché? Yes, totally. But there's some truth to it.
Talking through negative experiences will put pessimistic thoughts to rest and pave the way for a more positive conversation.
You can then focus the discussion on how their experience is going to have a positive impact on their life. This will alter their perspective and get them to think about how they will grow into a more experienced and confident person. Changing them forever, for the best.
It's about a shift from being a victim to being someone empowered to take on any obstacle that lies ahead. They'll be able to move forward with a renewed sense of purpose. Their trip will be reframed and may actually make their time away feel shorter.
Inevitably, some events will trigger homesickness, no matter how positive they are.
Birthdays, for instance, can make their day feel extra lonely. We've all become accustomed to being surrounded by friends and family on our special day — it's tradition. So it's no wonder celebrating alone can magnify the not-so-lovely feeling of homesickness.
Luckily, those days can become an opportunity to renew connections from home.
We suggest getting friends and family to record video messages and compiling them together into a beautiful video montage. Seeing familiar faces and hearing them talk is enough to shake the homesickness out of anyone.
You can even take a walk down memory lane and add photos between the video clips to make it extra special.
Being surprised with a custom video made with friends and family is a great way to renew connections. It'll certainly make them feel secure about their relationships they left back home.
And making a video montage is super easy now.
We've developed an easy video montage maker so that anyone can make a beautiful video as a surprise gift. It's called VidDay, and it's a web app, which means it's used through an internet browser so that no one needs to download anything.
With VidDay, you can easily collect videos and photos from friends and family, arrange them in the order you want, and the app makes the video montage for you. No editing skills required.
Take Alyssa, for example.
Alyssa's friend, Elly, was celebrating her birthday alone while backpacking across South East Asia. Alyssa thought it would be wonderful to surprise Elly with a gift that made her feel closer to home. So, she started a video montage with VidDay and invited all of Elly's friends and family members to submit a video message.
Elly's reaction was priceless. You can watch her tear up with joy as she watches her friends and family wish her a happy birthday from the other side of the world.
A video montage is a great surprise to give as a birthday gift, but it's always a good time to send messages of love and support. Even as a simple gesture to say, "We miss you."
Living abroad or being away from home for an extended period of time can be difficult. But with your help, homesickness won't hold them back.
Click here to get started on a video montage and bring home closer to them.
Please reach out to us in our chat widget at the bottom of your screen or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about making a video montage for a homesick friend.
Thanks for reading!