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How to Cheer Up a Homesick Friend

by Ginger Voight

Moving to a new place may be an exciting adventure, but underneath that is the anxiety that comes from a change in routine. Whenever someone leaves home for any length of time, such as going off to camp or going away to college, feelings of nostalgia and yearning for the security of home often makes the transition more difficult. If you have a friend experiencing this anxiety or distress, there are some steps you can take to make her feel more at home.

Talk to your friend about his homesickness. Burying it will only exacerbate the problem. This also gives you the option to share with him any strategies you have personally discovered to help overcome these feelings. It will help to know someone understands how he feels. When you discuss his feelings about being homesick, you may get to the root cause. For instance, he could be homesick due to missing family dinners every night or being able to walk around his hometown.

Join your friend in discovering and acclimating to the new environment. It is human nature to fear the unknown, and that underscores the homesickness. By learning to navigate the new environment, your friend will find it easier to overcome yearning for what is familiar.

Introduce her to new friends by including her in your social circle. These new relationships help alleviate the feelings of homesickness and keep her mind off of those friends she left behind. Invite her to functions that you know she will enjoy. For example, if she likes sports and being outdoors, invite her to go hiking or camping with you and your friends.

Help him develop a new routine to replace the old one. Developing a new schedule will help him change things to where he does not need his old routine. Perhaps get him involved in an athletic club where he can boost endorphins by keeping physically fit.

Keep a positive outlook. Encourage her to see the glass half full so she can embrace this new experience instead of longing for what once was. Being positive helps your friends become more positive, so make the most of your influence. You will help her maintain a brighter outlook if you are positive.

Warning

  • If your friend's mood continues to decline despite your best intentions, enlist help from a trusted professional or support group. Encourage him to seek professional help if his homesickness turns into depression.

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