how I cope with being homesick

FamilyIn January of 2008 I made the brave decision to abandon my Georgia surroundings for the Colorado ambiance. This was an adventurous resolution backed by the support of my family and I had all I needed to flourish. Young and audacious, I fell hard for the artistic hand of God; what a beautiful state.

Six years later, I’m still wildly in love and have a troublesome time envisioning myself elsewhere. I’ve invested in a  home, made life-long friends and built my family out here. However, the picture of Georgia weighs deep in my mind. My roots remain strong and the loved ones I left behind have a massive dwelling in my heart. I have sensitivity to being homesick and a need to gracefully cope with those emotions.

Following your dreams doesn’t have to be muddied with feelings of sorrow. I invite you to view these techniques and apply what works for your lifestyle.

Throw yourself into your new surroundings
I am proud to say that I’m a Southern girl who LOVES snow skiing, hiking, kale, and local brews. Pre-Colorado, I thought the term “vegan” was an animal, I had never heard of kale and I’d touched snow twice in my life. Taking the opportunity to experience unchartered territory has enhanced who I am and given me a stronger foundation for this place I call home.

I encourage you to hang with the locals; eat their food, play their sports and branch out. Who knows, you may find yourself in a way you never imagined. Don’t deprive your soul of new beginnings!

Send hand written cards
When I’m feeling down,  I find it helpful to log in my journal. But why not turn those words into hand written messages for my loved ones? It’s thrilling to receive personal letters in the mail, especially from a distant relative. You would be amazed how easily the words can flow, how simple it is to put your feelings on paper and how quickly you’ve placed a smile on the recipients face.

Etsy has a multitude of magnificent stationery shops. Purchase some new stationery because if you’re excited about the paper, you’ll use it more!

Use social media
I know I advised you to send letters in my previous point, but there’s no harm in utilizing Facebook as well. What a brilliant tool we have at our fingertips, What an incredible way to keep in touch, and best of all, it’s free.

I add photos of my son (maybe too many photos…) but I do it for his grandparents, aunts and uncles who live on the other side of the country. They get to see the beauty of him growing without missing out on special milestones. I update my status so my mom can still keep tabs on me, I share humorous links on my dads wall and I vigorously follow my sister’s postings for a glimpse of my niece and nephew.

It’s fun and it’s easy, no reason to not share!

Skype, call or even text
When you’re experiencing moments of bleakness, grab your phone and dial a loved one. Hearing that voice on the other end of the line gives you an intimate feeling of peace. If you have the ability, face time or skype; such an awe-inspiring tool that’s rarely used.

If you’re too busy to call or skype; you can always text. A simple, “I love you”, “I’m thinking of you”, or even a heart-warming emoticon will generate a smile on the other end.

It’s OK to cry
This is a biggie.  I find myself engrossed with the thought of my family and often times, it brings tears to my eyes. Jealousy runs deep as I see families enjoying Sunday dinners, grandparents teaching their grand children how to ride a bike and loved ones saying, “Bye sweetie, I’ll see you next week!”

I choke back the tears, shake them off and tell myself to think of something happy. But you know what? When I let myself cry, a good solid cry, I feel much better. It ensures me of my feelings; that I’m still at one with my heart. Emotions are important, let it all out.

Find other transplants
Just remember that you’re not alone. We have all been blessed with opportunities in life, and some of those circumstances take us away from our homes. Take a look around and you’ll find others experiencing the same anguish. Latch onto those friends and use each other as a leaning post.

Published by Jacqueline Leigh Boeheim

Jacqueline Leigh is a children's author based in Georgia. She spent many years working alongside advertising executives, producing inspirational and ground break print, web and television ads. Jacqueline later put her focus on journalism, doing what she loves, writing stories for the general public. She has been published in multiple print and digital publications. She’s interviewed big-name bands and small-town businesses, both contributing to her understanding and joy of writing. Jacqueline has now taken her experiences and focused on becoming a children’s author, a lifetime dream.

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