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How to deal with homesickness

Longing is exactly the feeling that any Ukrainian who has left his native city or country is now experiencing. A feeling that slowly kills every person from the inside. Feeling as if a part of you was left there in a past life.

You walk the streets, feeling like a guest in a strange world, like a viewer watching passers-by who live their lives, enjoy the little things, and you only dream of returning home, constantly imagining this moment in your head.

Ваше эмоциональное состояние меняется фаза за фазой. С самого начала казалось, что это всего лишь плохой сон и через несколько дней все закончится, все вернется на свои места. После, пришло понимание, что вы оказались здесь, в новом окружении, и что изменить это нельзя. Сейчас вы пытаетесь смириться и привыкнуть, но навязчивые мысли и тоска по дому медленно съедает вас изнутри. Появляется ощущение, что выйти из такого состояния просто невозможно.

And such a reaction of the body is absolutely normal. It is always difficult to leave one’s native place, and especially under such monstrous circumstances. After all, you got used to certain rules and foundations, got used to the places and people who surrounded you, and in one moment everything changed. You had to leave with only one suitcase, with the most necessary things that were collected in a hurry and in fear.

And now, being safe, you constantly experience stress, because again you need to adapt, establish a routine lifestyle and start all over again.

But even just one thought about life from a “clean slate” inspires incredible fear and horror. After all, every second you dream of returning home, even if your home is no longer there …

Мы собрали для вас полезные советы, которые помогут вам избавиться от стресса и чувства тоски, наладить своё психологическое здоровье и вернуть ощущение уюта и дома в вашу реальность.

  • Первое, что нужно сделать, это осознать и понять, что вы не одни. Миллионы украинцев, уехавшие из дома сейчас испытывают одинаковые с вами чувства. И это не только сумасшедшая тоска по дому, но и чувство вины, и стыд за то, что уехали.
  • It is very important to remind yourself why you left. Namely, you were saving yourself and your family, and at that moment it was the best decision you could have made. You have secured yourself, your children and loved ones from the consequences of the war. And the main task before you, to protect yourself and take care of yourself, you have completed. Say it out loud while standing in front of a mirror several times.
  • Get to know your temporary housing better. Find nearby shops, parks, shopping centers, coffee houses. Walk as much as possible in the same places. For example, set yourself the task of walking in one area or park every day. So your brain adapts faster to new conditions and it will be easier for you to get used to it.
  • Try to bring the routine things back into your life. What you did daily at home, what gave you joy. For example, watching a movie or reading a book before bed, morning coffee, daily jogging, taking a hot bath. Let the usual rituals into your new life, this will help you realize that even without a home, you remain the same person and can continue to live.
  • Keep a diary of your emotions and experiences. You can record yourself on video or just write down your feelings in notes on your phone. Just write down everything you feel, what emotions you experienced during the day, what made you angry, upset, and what, on the contrary, made you smile. So you can track the dynamics of your states, and it’s also a great way to speak out without fear of condemnation and misunderstanding.
  • Meet Ukrainians who live near you. Keep in touch with them, plan joint dinners and meetings, discuss with them the future victory of Ukraine, sing Ukrainian songs and share your thoughts on what you will do when you have the opportunity to return home. If possible, help and support your countrymen, both those who left and those who remained in Ukraine. This is incredibly strong unites and each of you will feel that he is not alone. After all, you are all now fighting for the same values.
  • Try to equip your new home in the way you are used to. If you are lucky enough to take some memorabilia from home, put it in the most prominent place that you will most often pay attention to. If there were no such things in the alarm case, remember what your bedroom looked like. Maybe you have a favorite flower on your table that you constantly watered? Buy as similar as possible and put on the table in your new room. Or was there a photo frame near the bed at home? Print this photo from your phone, buy a new, similar frame and put it on your bedside table. Find a similar cup to the one you used to drink coffee or tea at home. This is the case when such, at first glance, impulsive purchases will only benefit you, help you adapt and get used to it more quickly, bring the necessary comfort and a real feeling of home to your new home.
  • Try to make the most of your day. Cleaning, cooking, sports, meditation, yoga will help you relax and distract from obsessive thoughts. Don’t even give a chance to bad thoughts to consume you.
  • Communicate with family and friends via video call. It is much more pleasant and useful than correspondence and regular calls. Dine at the same time as them, choose clothes for the day, watch the same movies. This will bring you closer and give you the feeling that you are there.
  • Live every emotion you experience, don’t hold anything in yourself. Cry, scream, laugh, but just don’t hold them inside. Hidden feelings will almost always make themselves felt. And most often, it happens a little later. After a week or even a month, you will experience fatigue, headaches, malaise and lack of motivation.
  • Ищите новые возможности. Присоединяйтесь в клуб по интересам, ищите работу, присоединитесь к волонтёрам, ходите на акции и митинги для поддержки Украины. Это поможет вам найти близких по духу людей, отвлечься, а ещё и быть полезным своей стране и армии.
  • Try to redirect negative emotions into gratitude. Gratitude to the people who sheltered you, gave you food and security. Gratitude to the army that protects your country so that you return home as soon as possible. Even thanks to the cashier at the supermarket who smiled at you today. You can’t even imagine how such little things can make your life better and calmer.
  • Осознайте, почему вы прямо сейчас не можете вернуться домой. Помните, что война еще не закончилась, что у вас на родине еще не безопасно. Слушайте и доверяйте только официальным источникам информации в Украине и дождитесь, пока там объявят о безопасной возможности возвращения домой.

And most importantly, don’t lose hope. Believe that everything will end soon and you will return home, rebuild a strong and already free Ukraine.

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