Homesickness is a natural response to being away from family, friends, or the things that are familiar to us. It could be even that your assignment is far from local congregations so you are more isolated from association with others. There is no shame in having negative feelings. But while sometimes the best way to get over something is to go through it, there are also ways to make it easier.
- If what you are missing are the conveniences or food from home, ask for a package. You might even prepare for this by pre-packing some things and asking for a particular box when you need it.
- High end hotels or malls might give you the taste of home that you need.
- Plan a movie night and watch with a few friends.
- If your favorite meals aren’t readily available, learn to make favorite foods from scratch. Or develop new favorites by trying new things. You might find that some foods are even better than from your home country!
Granted, people are not as easily replicated or replaced as things are but there are still things that you can do to ease the feelings of loss.
- Make a real effort to stay in touch with friends and family from home. Keep in touch with a blog, email, or FaceTime. Ask a friend to FaceTime you from an assembly, party, or wedding so that you can feel a part of it. Instagram stories is a good way to live stream an event with clips of video and still images. And be sure to share your daily life with friends from home as well!
- The best antidote to homesickness is to draw close to your congregation. Jehovah promises us that we will find “mothers and brothers and sisters” and friends if we make sacrifices for him.
Take Care of Yourself
- Keep an emotional first aid kit handy.
- Keep a journal or vent to a friend. Even local friends will be understanding. And of course our best friend is Jehovah and he can always make sure you feel better.
Keep your purpose in sharp focus. Read and meditate on life experience or Bible examples like Abraham and Sarah. Listen to Gilead Meetings. Remember that we are all temporary residents in this system of things.
Homesickness is an awful feeling, for sure, but with a little work and planning, it can be lessened!