Homesickness has been my worst nightmare for most of my life. I have struggled with it ever since I was a little kid, and I am still occasionally dealing with it. I don't think it will ever completely disappear. However, it is way less than it used to be. How did this happen? Will it ever completely disappear? Why did I work on it? In this article, I will tell you what helps me to handle my homesickness. Maybe it will help you as well. 

As a kid, my homesickness got to a point in which my mother drove me to my father to stay for the weekend, only for me to already get homesick in the car and tell him that I wasn't going to stay. If I stayed over at a friend's place, their parents always had to call my mother in the middle of the night to ask her if she could come pick me up because I couldn't stop crying. Eventually, I just never stayed over anymore. I got tired of all this, especially concerning my father, so I stopped avoiding these situations and tried to find a way to deal with my homesickness. The next five things help me dealing with homesickness.

1. Don't be ashamed of it

For a long time, I made excuses not to stay over. I was afraid my friends would judge me, especially when I was already a little older. I told them that I had to be somewhere in the early morning, that my mother didn't allow me to, or that I would spend the weekend at my father's place, all to hide that I was struggling with homesickness. However, in the end, you can't keep this up. You'll run out of lies to tell or are feeling guilty because you are lying and hiding something from your friends. It took me quite some time before I admitted to them why I never stayed over. But it was a significant relief, no more unnecessary lies.

2. Bring things from home

Whenever I am going to stay somewhere else for multiple days, I bring various things from home. Two things that always go with me are my pillow and stuffed toy. People who do not know about my homesickness sometimes joke that I fill half my suitcase with my pillow. Again, it just shows that you should be more open about your reasons. If I go for a long time, I also take pictures of people who remind me of home. It helps me to create a bedroom in a strange place that feels like home. 

3. Get there but also take time for yourself

I always find it nice to distract myself when I am feeling homesick. I like to surround myself with others so I don't start to feel even more alone than my homesickness already makes me feel. However, dealing with homesickness also means that I sometimes need to take a moment to re-collect myself. It can frustrate me when others tell me it will be okay when I am high in my emotions. Then it is better to take a minute, and, after that, distract myself again. It is okay to feel sad occasionally. Always ignoring the homesickness will only cause a big blowout, at least for me, than it would when I would allow the homesickness to kick in once in a while.

4. Call someone from home/ you feel safe with

Hearing a familiar voice of a loved one can result in two things. Namely, me missing home or me feeling calm. When I feel okay on vacation, only one phone call can make me miss everything from home. However, when I am sad, a familiar voice can comfort me and make me realize that those people are still there even though I am not with them.

5. Don't avoid the homesickness

I realized when seeing other friends going on vacations and spending weekends at another place, that I avoided the homesickness by saying no to many opportunities just because I was afraid to get homesick. But that is not the way to tackle a problem. My fear only increased because I didn't put myself in situations where I had to deal with my homesickness, and therefore, didn't experience that it would get better after some days. After challenging myself, I realized that I could handle it! This does not mean I never experience it anymore, but it tells me I learned how to live with this nightmare. 

Facing your fears can be scary. When I started dealing with my homesickness, it was lonely, and I cried for days. I wanted to give up and just go back home. As those days passed, I began to feel more confident and prouder. You have to go through the hard days before you can make progress. So, take a step out of your comfort zone. It doesn't have to be a big step. Just one that helps you deal with your homesickness. You can do it!