How to deal with homesickness?

A young girl suffering from homesickness.

It is not uncommon for a person to become homesick when one is living a long away from home or homeland. The first few weeks and even months are especially difficult because the new surrounds are unfamiliar, the customs may be different and the people are strangers."

Usually the sickness wears off, but for some persons it does just the opposite. It grows more intense and becomes a serious problem.

Who are affected?

Children who are unaccustomed to be away from home are particularly subject to the ailment. A stay only a week or two in a summer camp can affect some to an extent they will not eat.

Older children who have to attend school or college in another town feel temporary pangs of pain of homesickness, but few will suffer intensely.

The same experience might be said of a young newly marriage woman who is taken to another town or country.

Even grandparents have become homesick for their children and grandchildren while on an extended vacation trip.

So, homesickness is an emotional problem common to all persons of all ages. What can be done?

Help from family members

Close family ties is a major contributing factor to homesickness. But that is no reason for discouraging such ties. They are fine. The family that has them is to be commended.

However, separated family members can help those with homesickness problems by regularly corresponding with them.

With instantaneous communication methods and speedy jet planes flying almost everywhere they need not feel miles away.

Parents can do much for their children who are away by communicating with them regularly and giving them words of encouragement.

However, sooner or later a young person will have to learn to adjust to life around him. Giving in to homesickness will not help them to this but will hinder the maturing process.

Have good frame of mind

Since homesickness is a state of mind it is necessary for the person suffering from it to try to adjust his thinking.

If in another country one would only aggravate the situation by constantly making comparisons of local living conditions with those back home.

Constantly complaining about them intensifies one's dissatisfaction. It would be better for one to stop fretting and try to adjust to the local conditions as best as one can.

A good frame of mind is created when a person thinks about the good features of the locality rather than those he finds unpleasant.

If he is in a tropical land, he rejoices over the beautiful flowers, enjoying the sight of gracefully swaying trees and delight in the multi-colored birds.

Something good can be found in every place on earth. Even deserts have features the cause people reared there to long for them when they are away.

By one making it a point to focus the mind on good things, the unpleasant things will not seem unbearable.

It is well to remember that even in one’s home town there are bad things that have to be overlooked.

Striving to develop a good frame of mind can prevent homesickness from becoming a real problem.

Keep active

A full schedule of activities helps to keep the mind occupied, which is important in fighting home sickness. It only grows worse when a person is idle and broods over his situation.

Doing wholesome work that benefits the local people is especially helpful. This opens the way for one to make new acquaintances and to form new friendships. It reduces the feelings of loneliness.

Although the people may be very different from those from your homeland, you can find good qualities in them if you look for them.

Seek medical help

For cases of acute home sickness it is important to seek medical help. Acute homesickness can cause loss of appetite, with a consequent loss in weight that can develop into an emaciated condition.

It can cause loss of sleep and various forms of physical disturbances. In extreme case some have even died from illness brought by it.

So when you feel that your personal health being affected, do not hesitate to seek medical interventions to minimize the negative effects of homesickness on your health.


Homesickness should be recognized as a normal experience for persons who are far from friends and familiar surroundings.

Enduring it is the test of one’s maturity. It will pass away if a person keeps busy and develops tolerant viewpoints about his surroundings and the people.

With the proper frame of mind you will be able to conquer the problem of homesickness, but if your personal efforts fail, do not hesitate to seek help from others.