It was the beginning of a whole new chapter when I moved to Sweden from Bangladesh. Facing the fact that you will have to leave everything behind and start over isn’t only daunting but it’s complicated as well. Hence it is only natural to be homesick and miss what you are letting go.
But do we always identify home sickness from the get-go? After the first three months abroad, the charm of a new home started to diminish and longing for home became a constant. Without any actual health concern, I was depressed and irritated. Small arguments seemed like big issues to me because nothing much was happening in life. I became crabby and judgmental, and later realised I was missing my life back home. These are some of the ways you can cope with home sickness:
Roam the city
To cope with the new environment, it is essential to roam around the city and be familiar with the food, people, shopping, communication and the overall system. Before moving there, I was constantly searching for friendly people from Bangladesh who were stationed there. I was lucky to find a Bangladeshi couple on social media and we soon became very good friends. They helped me get accustomed to the language, new places and the social system; and when I needed support, they were a phone call away.
I started to discover my new area of interest by exploring the city, including shopping malls that provided me knowledge about the new culture and people’s style of living, clothing and trends. To bring a change in my monotonous life I started painting. The new surrounding inspired me to start blogging. It helped with the loneliness and also gave me a purpose. I took a gym membership for training sessions, sauna and swimming facility which was life changing.
Get accustomed with your nearby grocery store
Identifying nearby grocery shops also made life easier. I bought all the essentials from the beginning for example a good sharp knife set, chopper, blender, heater, a perfect comfortable bed and other miscellaneous accessories. Moreover, I used to explore new places during the weekend with a local friend too.
Keep in touch with the family
Regular communication with family back home gradually reduced my stress but I was careful not to share every single detail; as a result, there was more home sickness. For example, during winter nights I know how safe it is to come back home with public transport but sharing this with my mother would give her unnecessary panic attacks.
Positive thoughts and healthy eating makes a difference too
I often arrange coffee meetings with local friends and that brightened up my overseas life creating unforgettable memories.