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No one could have imagined the impact that COVID-19 would have on the world or the toll that it would take on the physical and mental well-being of people everywhere. Living in a country outside of your own can turn into a psychological challenge, even during a good year. Eventually, you start to miss your friends, family, and your favorite things back home. But when you're stuck in another country without having the option to even fly home for a visit, the feelings of isolation and alienation can become utterly overwhelming.
If you're an expat who has been overcome with a serious bout of homesickness, read on to learn some simple and effective ways to feel more at home.
While you're stuck at home in a new country, you should have some more time on your hands to explore the culture and its traditions. If you haven't set up a daily routine for yourself, it's essential for your peace of mind that you do so, especially during the pandemic or if you work from home.
When you set up a daily routine, make sure to carve out time for exercise, meditation, prayer, or some other sort of quiet reflection time, time for grooming and self-care, preparing meals, work, and creative time. Even if you can only afford to allow yourself a few minutes for each activity outside of work, carving out time for each thing and following the routine every day will work wonders for your mental well-being.
As you're setting up or rearranging your daily routine, take the opportunity to get creative and more in touch with the culture. Research online or observe your surroundings to learn something that most locals do in their daily routine that you haven't done before and try it out.
Are you missing some of your favorite shows, movies, or sports broadcasts from home, but they aren't available on your region's most popular streaming networks? Just get a VPN and use it to gain access to the available content in your home country. All you need to do is download the VPN, connect to a server from the country of your choice, and that's it – you'll have access to that country's content.
Turn your nostalgic viewing session into a special occasion by hunting down some of your favorite snacks or fast food from home - if you can't find things readily available, gather ingredients and make the closest version you can. You can even use a group call app to get your friends and family online and have a viewing session all together.
Speaking of viewing sessions with friends and family, if you haven't already set aside time for video calls at least once a week, it's a habit that you should definitely get into. While the pandemic and its resulting travel restrictions are a drag, the only good thing about it all happening in 2021 is that technology has become advanced enough to make it easy to see one another and keep in touch at the push of a button.
Even if everyone is busy and there's a vast time difference between your new country and your friends and family back home, you should all be able to agree on an hour or two at least one day a week to connect and catch up. It's the next best thing to being able to sit together in the same room. It will undoubtedly go a long way in helping you get over your homesickness. Aside from weekly video calls, you can create chat groups in your preferred messaging app for friends and family so that you can all keep in touch and share random news and events whenever something comes up.
Follow the tips above to start feeling more positive about being stuck far away from home during the pandemic.