Blonde woman sitting in living room at home with sad expression. Going through a breakup, alone at home on a spring morning.
How To Cope With Adult Homesickness (It's Normal)
Adults often long for the life they’ve left behind when they get to a new place, aka homesickness, but it can also be a sign of holding on to the past out of fear or self-doubt.
Hallmark stimuli for homesickness include moving to a place with unfamiliar customs but can also come from more nuanced changes in life like moving in with a partner.
Homesickness is particularly prevalent in young adults moving away from their childhood homes for the first time, since they’re losing what was familiar to them for so long.
Other triggers include difficulty adjusting to a new lifestyle, changing from familiar routines and customs to new ones, adapting to new standards, and feeling like an outcast.
To lower your sensitivity to homesickness, get small, repeated exposure to the things that trigger you and note the specific emotions you feel so you can logically name them.
Next, set boundaries around your triggering experiences so you can process your feelings while focusing on integrating into your new environment and local support network.
Homesickness can evolve into an unhealthy relationship with the past, called nostalgic depression, which can make us romanticize the past and find it hard to move forward.
To escape the nostalgic depression rut, regularly go out in nature near your new residence or create routine and familiarity in a small area of your life, then slowly expand.
During this process, remember to be kind to yourself; try keeping a gratitude journal to get in the habit of recording your positive experiences or talk to a therapist.