Homesickness is defined as distress caused by separation from a specific home environment.The main signs and symptoms of homesickness are: Nostalgia, grief, depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, withdrawal, sadness, claustrophobia, and agoraphobia. Homesickness can strike at any moment, one week into the volunteer abroad work or a month later.
It’s natural for volunteers to become homesick as they are many miles away from home and they can’t go back as soon as they want. Here are a couple of remedies to homesickness:
Keeping in touch with family and old friends who are at home, is one of way of keeping homesickness at bay. When feeling lonely and homesick you could try and communicate with those who are back at home. Talking to them will lift up your spirit.
Carrying something from home could you overcome homesickness. Carry things that have some sentimental value and would remind you of home. Having familiar things will make the place staying at more comfortable.
Making new friends is a great way to get over homesickness. While volunteering abroad, you should make friends with the local people and other volunteers. Other volunteers will help to form a support network whereby they will help you solve common problems. Spending time with other people cures homesickness.
Keep busy. Volunteers become homesick the most when they are idle. You should focus on the volunteer abroad work and look for ways to be more productive. Stick to a schedule that keeps your mind occupied.The busier you are the less time you will feel homesick.