If you're staying somewhere different from your native country, it's only natural that at some point you'll start to miss your home, your friends and even the local scenery. Many foreigners often experience feelings of homesickness when reminiscing about their homes, but this is something they can usually deal with. However, what happens when this nostalgia is coupled with important family holidays like Christmas or New Year's? Is there a healthy way to deal with this feeling?
Of course there is.
Unfortunately, homesickness is something that as an Au Pair
, you can experience at any time, and especially during the holidays. Don't worry, as we already said, this is something normal. At Aupair.com, we want to help you be prepared for these moments of nostalgia, that's why we have compiled these 6 tips to deal with homesickness during the holidays.
1. Don't bottle it up
The first step you need to take to deal with homesickness is to accept what you're experiencing. This involves acknowledging how you feel and, above all, not blaming or judging yourself for it. Your emotions are valid and understandable, so be kind to yourself. Identify if there are any triggers besides the holidays, and try to think of some activities that might make you feel better.
Talking about it with your family, Host Family, friends or even tearing up a little will surely make you feel better. Don't be afraid to express yourself.
2. Communicate with other Au Pairs in your area
There are probably other Au Pairs who are homesick, just like you. Make some new friends!
Try contacting them, get together and plan some holiday activities. You can go for a walk or even organize a nice holiday meal. Anything that allows you to be together and support each other.
3. Share your traditions with your Host Family
You are not alone. As an Au Pair, you have a Host Family to be a part of for the entire program. Share your traditions with them. Show them what you do in your country during these types of celebrations. You can teach them what kind of music you listen to, what dishes you cook, what you are used to doing as a family, etc.
You can also involve the children in activities that include crafts or the preparation of typical food from your country. There are many possibilities.
This is an excellent time to collect memories
. Observe the traditions of your host country. Keep a journal or take lots of photos, so you can tell your family about customs that may be new or curious to them.
4. Don't stay alone
Remember we said that your homesickness is completely normal and valid? That doesn't mean you should succumb to it, isolate yourself from the world and sink into your sadness. Quite the contrary! Now that you've identified your emotions, you can find smart ways to deal with them. One of the best tips you can follow is not to stay alone.
Loneliness can cause your head to fill with negative thoughts. Interact with others, call your family, or play with your Host Kids for a while.
The idea is to always have company and keep your mind occupied.
5. Stay away from social media
A good option to deal with homesickness is to contact your family back home, but be careful, don't do it too often. Constant communication can make you feel worse, and by constant communication we also mean checking updates and photos on social media.
You probably follow family and friends on Facebook, Instagram or other platforms, and they will probably share memories of their holidays. Take a break from social media. Don't be tempted to spend too much time looking at their feeds. This is only going to trigger thoughts that idealize past holidays and bring up sadder emotions.
6. Focus on the place and the moment you are in right now
Change is a natural part of life, and you are supposed to have chosen to participate in the Au Pair program to experience different adventures. Seize the opportunity! Explore places of interest. Go to street markets, or participate in festivals and events related to your host country's holidays. Try new dishes, practice a local tradition, wear a traditional costume, join a choir, or volunteer in a benevolent activity, there is nothing more satisfying than helping others.
Holidays are times to celebrate, enjoy them. Don't forget that this is a unique moment and that after your experience as an Au Pair, your family and friends will be at home waiting for you to create and share new moments together. Cheer up!