What to do against homesickness?
We all know that people are often either dog lovers or cat lovers, but did you know that there are also two types of homesickness: dog homesickness and cat homesickness?
Two types of homesickness
1. Dog homesickness
When you move to a different country, you may become homesick because you miss certain people – just as dogs are attached to their owners and suffer when they are apart.
2. Cat homesickness
Alternatively, you may feel homesick because you miss your familiar routine and surroundings – just as cats are attached to their territory and don’t like being uprooted from their home environment.
What is homesickness
Homesickness is defined as “a feeling of longing for home” or, more generally, “for the security and certainty of the known”.
Homesickness is usually temporary, but it can also last for a considerable length of time. A sustained longing for home can result in a string of physical and mental complaints such as depression, anxiety, stress, headaches, loss of appetite, fatigue and hyperventilation.
Moving abroad does not necessarily mean you will become homesick. However, even if you don’t feel homesick immediately after your move, that doesn’t mean that you’re immune to it.
Some people can experience homesickness after living abroad for many years. It can be triggered by life events that suddenly make your home country feel a long way away, such as going through a divorce, a family member back home falling ill, or – as happened during the COVID-19 pandemic – restrictions on your freedom of movement.
But it can sometimes also be triggered by something very small, such as hearing a particular song or seeing a photograph that brings back memories from a certain time in your life. Some people will always feel some level of homesickness and they either learn to accept and live with it, or move back home.
Reasons why you might experience dog homesickness
You may feel lonely because you haven’t yet made any friends in your host country.
Meeting people you enjoy spending time with can be difficult in a new country. Forming new relationships doesn’t come easy to everyone, and even if you do find it easy to talk to others you can still feel lonely if the connection doesn’t go deep enough for you.
Loneliness can also occur between partners or families who move abroad together. A new environment and unfamiliar circumstances can put pressure on existing relationships, since the situation can affect each individual in different ways and at different times.
Reasons why you might experience cat homesickness
It will take some time to get used to your new situation when you arrive in your host country; it’s unlikely that you will feel at home immediately, no matter how hard you try.
When you’re in a new and unfamiliar environment, the lack of a daily routine can make you feel uncertain and cast adrift, so it’s normal to yearn for a time when you felt more confident and self-assured.
“You get a strange feeling when
you’re about to leave a place,
like you’ll not only miss
the people you love but
you’ll miss the person you are now
at this time and this place,
because you’ll never be
this way ever again.”