Life as an OFW is not all sunshine and blooms; Aside from the daily adjustments and challenges of living alone and apart from family, there are other real struggles that some of us go through especially when that intense feeling of missing home hits hard. Even if homesickness is a common occurrence for people traveling and working overseas, it doesn’t have to affect our daily lives.
There really isn’t a fast and quick fix for homesickness. But there are certainly doable ways to overcome this feeling. When thinking about our loved ones and our life back home stir feelings of emptiness, we need to focus on other things that keep us busy and at the same time feel good without ignoring our feelings of longing for home.
5 Tips and Activities to Battle Homesickness
Homesickness is not entirely a bad thing, and this can also be the perfect opportunity for us to grow as a person if we look at it positively. So here are some things that you can do to get through the tough times:
1. Make sure you are connected with family and friends on social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram.
Someone once said “you’re non-existent unless you’re on Facebook” – and for a good reason: to let other people know what you’ve been up to, or humor aside- still alive. That may sound a little bit stalker-ish, but for the people who are miles away from friends and family, it’s actually not a bad thing. Now, it doesn’t mean that you need to be online 24/7 (unless your job requires you to be), but enough to be visible and keep open communication with loved ones back home. OFWs and people working abroad are lucky to be living in this period where technology can easily bridge distance, and in essence- bring us closer to home.
2. Work your magic in the kitchen with our very own Filipino recipes.
Fear not, you don’t have to be a culinary whiz to conquer the kitchen and to whip up good ‘ol familiar Filipino dishes. As I would always say, start with your favourites. I mean, whatever the result will be, there’d still be someone who’d eat the dish you worked hard to prepare – you. Also, just because it’s one of your favourite dishes.
3. Connect with our fellow kababayan.
Homesickness creeps in when you are left alone to yourself, spending idle moments apart from the life that you currently should be dealing with. To stay mentally healthy, it’s important that you make friends- good ones, at that. And making friends with our kababayan abroad can ease the loneliness you might be feeling when you’re on your own.
4. Involve yourself in events with fellow OFWs and the Filipino community in your location.
Wherever you may be, it’s almost always certain that you’ll find Filipinos there too. Find these tight-knit Filipino communities and involve yourself with group activities you’re interested in or chip in ideas on what would make a nice activity to get others and yourself involved.
5. Stay updated with Pinoy pop culture.
Aside from social media, another good way to conquer homesickness is to immerse yourself with what’s been “trending” back home. Whether it be music, TV shows, movies, events and the likes… you can easily get your fix of what’s in back home simply by doing a bit of online research, YouTube and talking to loved ones about it. Subscribing to Pinoy TV channels available abroad is a good way to start.
These are just a few things to keep yourself busy and to stay connected to home. While it’s a fact that homesickness will be a part of any OFW’s life, there are plenty of things you can do as an OFW to get through this. The most important thing is to keep an open line with family and friends back home. With the help of technology nowadays, keeping in touch with our loved ones isn’t such a difficult thing to do anymore. Just like with any problems in life, the important thing is to be positive and to be creative in dealing with homesickness, too.