Saying goodbye is never easy, especially if you are moving away from family and friends or vice versa. Personally, I have been on the other side of this coin as I have had to watch many family members and friends move out of state at various times in my life. It is never easy, that is for sure, but not impossible to go through. Although I thought it might, it hasn’t killed me yet!
Since this can be a very emotional time, it is vital to allow yourself to grieve the loss of these relationships before embarking on your new adventure or going back to “life as usual” after, for example, your best friend moves twelve hours away.
Feeling sad, scared, or even angry is normal when you are far away from the people you love. However, it is essential to remember that you can stay in touch with your loved ones even if you are far apart. There are many ways to stay connected, such as phone calls, text messages, social media, and video chats. For example, my best friend lives in South Carolina. We talk on the phone every day, and I am closer to her than to some of our other friends that still live in the same state. And we make time to visit each other when we can.
Like my friend and I, you may also want to take into consideration visiting each other regularly, planning special trips to see each other, or meet halfway if possible. When my boys were little, we would spend two weeks with our family each summer at the beach in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, driving seventeen hours from Michigan to get there. Or, as my oldest son once remarked when he was around four years old, “We drove through one Ohio and two Virginias to get here!”.
Although saying goodbye is never easy, it is important to remember that you can still keep the people you love close to your heart. Here’s a quick list of suggestions to consider when grieving:
- Give yourself permission and time to grieve: It’s okay to be sad, and it’s okay to need time to process your feelings. Give yourself permission to grieve the loss of your old home, and don’t try to force yourself to be happy too quickly.
- Stay busy: One of the best ways to deal with sadness is to keep yourself busy. When you have free time, fill it with activities that you enjoy or that are constructive, such as packing or cleaning.
- Connect with friends and family: Moving can be a lonely experience, especially if you’re moving to a new city or away from family and friends. Make an effort to stay in touch with the people who are important to you, whether it’s through text, social media, or video chat.
- Get involved in your new community: Explore your new neighborhood, meet your neighbors, and find local organizations or groups that interest you. Getting involved in your new community will help you feel more connected and less isolated.
- Seek professional help: If you’re finding it difficult to cope with your sadness, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor.
What are signs of homesickness?
Homesickness is a feeling of homesickness or displacement caused by separation from one’s home, family, or friends. It is also commonly referred to as “separation anxiety.”
Homesickness can be triggered by a variety of different things, such as moving to a new city, starting a new job, or going away to college.
As a little girl, I was very attached to my mama, and would get homesick during sleepovers. It wasn’t as normalized then, nor did it have a name that I can recall. Grateful for those coming up that they can learn that it is normal, they’re not “defective” or alone, and it’s okay to seek help. Here are a few symptoms to look for:
- Feeling sad, lonely, helpless
- Depressed, depressive thoughts
- Panic attacks
- Sense of insecurity
- Frequent mood swings
- Feeling that we don’t belong
- Wanting to leave
For some people, homesickness is a mild discomfort that fades after a few days or weeks. For others, it can be a more serious condition that leads to depression, anxiety, and even panic attacks.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact a mental health professional immediately and reach out to your loved ones for support. Homesickness is a normal part of life, and with help, it can be overcome.
How do you deal with moving away for college?
That little four-year-old boy who knew what states we traveled to get to our out-of-state family, is currently a high school senior and looking to move away for college next year. It hit me like a ton of bricks the other day, and I just sat and bawled my eyes out. I gave myself permission to feel sad, but I didn’t let myself “live there.” I am sure it will happen a few more times before the end of the school year and then again when he goes away to college.
So, how can he deal with moving away to college? The first step; understand that being homesick is normal and acknowledge your feelings for what they are. Here’s another list to consider when thinking about it:
- Learn how to identify homesickness
- Don’t give it a timeline
- Allow yourself to feel sad, but don’t let it define you
- Use nostalgia to your advantage
- Build a network
- Create new routines and transitions
- Get out of the house
- Stay healthy
- Keep a journal
- Be careful not to turn to drugs or alcohol to mask the grief
It’s normal to feel homesick after moving away for college. In fact, research shows that nearly 70% of college students will experience some degree of homesickness during their first year away from home.
Homesickness is a form of anxiety that is triggered by thoughts and memories of home or familiarity. For many students, the transition to college can be a lonely and isolating experience. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to cope with homesickness.
One of the best things you can do is to identify your triggers. What thoughts or activities make you feel homesick? Once you know what your triggers are, you can start to work on accepting them.
It’s also important to give yourself time to adjust to your new surroundings. Don’t force yourself to feel better before you’re ready. And please do not forget to occasionally allow yourself to feel sad or homesick. It’s okay to miss your family and friends from home. Just don’t let homesickness take over your life. Instead of running from your feelings and deciding to deal with them, when moving away for college, there will be more opportunities to enjoy, grow, and make the most of your college experience.
How do you deal with the sadness of moving?
In conclusion, like everything difficult in life, if we merely acknowledge it, communicate and work through it, we have a chance at overcoming it. What do they say? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Well, homesickness is no exception. Allow yourself to embrace it, for the heartache can be used as motivation to make the most of where you are now. After all, how would we ever grow if we never had any problems?
Remember that you have an entire support system behind you and that you are not in this world alone. Yes, really.