For many Filipinos, working abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime. It comes with better pay, benefits, and the chance to help your family back home financially. But it also comes with its challenges — one is feeling homesick.
Homesickness is a genuine phenomenon, making even the most experienced OFW feel out of place and longing for home. In a 2020 study about Life Challenges of Overseas Filipino Workers, homesickness is the top challenge mentioned by respondents, with 70.20% of the 850 respondents.
If you’re an OFW who’s feeling homesick, here are some tips to help you feel at home:
Redecorate your space
Creating a space that’s comfortable and familiar for you can help ease homesickness. According to science, how your place looks and feels affects your mood and emotions. So take some time to personalize your room, whether by putting up photos of your loved ones or decorating with items that remind you of home.
Another way to redecorate your space is by filling it with home smells. You can do this by cooking your favorite food, diffusing essential oils, or burning scented candles. But if you want to take it a step further, why not add a piece of home by ordering from an online furniture shop in the Philippines? This way, you can have a small part that reminds you of home, no matter where you are in the world.
Whichever way you choose to redecorate, the goal is to make your space feel like home. And when your space feels like home, homesickness will be one less thing you have to worry about. Besides, you might even find that your new place has become your favorite haven.
Keep in touch with your loved ones
One of the best ways to fight homesickness is by staying in touch with your family and friends back home. Whether through video calls, social media, or good old-fashioned snail mail, keep the lines of communication open.
It is also an excellent time to get creative with how you stay in touch. Suppose you’re missing your family’s Sunday lunch. Why not have a virtual potluck where everyone cooks their favorite dish and shares it over a video call? Or, if you’re feeling extra nostalgic, you can even ask them to send a care package filled with your favorite Filipino snacks.
Talking to your loved ones will help remind you of why you’re working hard abroad when you’re feeling homesick. So, don’t be afraid to reach out and stay connected. A bit of homesickness is normal, but with the help of technology and some creativity, you can conquer it.
Find your community
With so many OFWs working abroad, likely, you’re not the only one feeling homesick. So, why not find your community and bond over your shared experiences?
A lot of OFWs find comfort in being around other Filipinos. So, if you’re feeling homesick, seek out your Filipino community. There are many ways to do this, whether joining a Filipino club or attending events organized by your local Filipino association.
Another way to find your community is by attending church services or participating in religious activities. For many Filipinos, religion is a big part of their lives, so being able to participate in these activities can help ease homesickness. In doing so, you’ll not only find your community, but you’ll also have a chance to reflect on your blessings.
Do something familiar
Homesickness can get triggered by anything that reminds you of home — including the food you eat, the places you go, and the things you do. So, if you’re homesick, it’s best to do something a bit familiar.
One way to do this is by cooking your favorite Filipino dish. There’s nothing like the comfort of home-cooked food to make you feel better. And with so many recipes available online, it’s easier than ever to cook your favorite Filipino dish, no matter where you are.
Another way to feel a little at home is by watching Filipino movies or TV shows. With the rise of streaming services, watching your favorite Filipino films and series is easier than ever. So, if you’re homesick, curl up with a blanket and watch a movie that will make you laugh, cry, or feel good.
Homesickness is a familiar feeling among OFWs. But with a little effort, it’s possible to fight homesickness and feel at home, no matter where you are. So, whenever you’re feeling homesick, just remember these tips and take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Who knows, you might even find a new home away from home.