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Homesick? 9 Simple Ways to Feel At Home Wherever You Are

Homesick? 9 Simple Ways to Feel At Home Wherever You Are

Whether you are moving abroad for work, are a student choosing to study overseas, or you have decided to make that sea change, the idea of finding a new home can be very daunting.

Anyone with the travel bug will agree that having ‘homes’ in so many different places can paradoxically cause you to feel like having no home at all. It is very true that home is where the heart is, but that can be difficult when the emotional and spiritual hearts also move from place to place. Here are 9 simple ways to truly feel at home regardless of where you are:

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1. Create that Safe Place.

Wherever you find yourself, set up your room in a similar fashion. Humans find comfort in what is familiar, so something as simple as the position of your bed, the direction you face when you sleep, or where you typically put your desk are all very effective in allowing you to feel at home.

2. Get a Little Sentimental.

Everyone has a sentimental piece that they cherish. It may be your grandmother’s ring, your father’s watch, or that  encouraging letter from a friend. Take that one piece with you wherever you travel. You will find it to be incredibly helpful in times where you are feeling a little down. They are not just objects—they carry a message of love.

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3. Become Aware of Your Surroundings.

Combat professionals, such as the S.W.A.T, are always in new surroundings. Their cardinal rule after entering into any new place to to become familiar with the elements—to take inventory of everything that is around them. This is not only effective in combat, but also in life. Take a stroll around your new location, become familiar with your environment. Allow yourself to acclimatize.

4. Learn the Language

If you really want to be embraced by the local people, be sure to grab a phrasebook and begin to learn a few phrases. If you are in another English-speaking country, learn some colloquialisms or put on your best impersonation of their accent—that always draws a laugh! In no time you will have people inviting you over for some paella with mussels, farfalle pasta, or korma curry.

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5. Get Connected.

Your hobbies and your passions are things that never leave you. Look for groups and social gatherings centered around what you enjoy doing. Connect with like-minded individuals. Many seasoned travelers will agree that as beautiful as a place may be, it is the people who make it even more beautiful. Great relationships are universal and give you that sense of home.

6. Commit to Experimenting.

A great way to become less anxious in new settings is to always be stretching yourself beyond your own comfort zones. Always be looking to try something new. As drinkers will build up a greater tolerance against alcohol, build up your tolerance against anxiety and the unfamiliar through challenging yourself daily. Start off with only one area of your life, let’s say, food—make a habit of trying something new once a week. Take on a new hobby, go to a concert, or to an art museum. Make the unfamiliar become the familiar.

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7. Love that Accent!

Nothing beats hearing your native accent pop out from among the buzz of the new country that you are in. Everyone can recall that time they stopped sipping their coffee and perked up as they looked to see where that beautiful sound came from. Whether you go down to your local pub or to a backpacker bar, it is always great to run into one of your own ‘locals’ on the other side of the world.

8. Who’s Your Team?

Whether it’s football, basketball, hockey, or baseball, cheering for your home team is a sure way to fire up that warm feeling of home. You can be certain about making a new friend as you find you are not the only person cheering after that magnificent goal. Find out when the next big match is and where the game will be shown.

9. Look for Your Favorite Treat

You can find Reese’s Pieces almost everywhere—and if you can’t, you will no doubt find them online. Sure it may cost a little more, but the feeling of biting into your favorite treat…priceless! It’s a little taste of home no matter where you are. In addition, there will certainly be your favorite home cuisine served up at a restaurant somewhere—jump online and have a search. If that fails, go out to the store and buy some ingredients, invite a few friends over, and introduce them to some spectacular home cooking!

In a world that is becoming more connected and in which traveling has become much more available, loneliness and anxiety can follow you wherever you go. Go out and try some of these simple steps to make wherever you are feel like home sweet home.

More by this author

Thai Nguyen

Thai's a Mindfulness-Meditation Coach, a 5-Star Chef and an International Kickboxer.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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