I’ve moved around a lot. Even as early as pre-school I switched schools. Elementary, three times and junior high, twice. To my surprise, I lasted four years in High School but I’m sure it’s only because the lack of options. One thing I should mention, during all those years my home address never changed. I was in the same house the whole time, yet found ways (some not as pleasant as others, read:rebel teenage years) to constantly be on the go.
I had a vedic astrologer mention that I have an ironic blend of Mairi go-go and Mairi white picket fence. I crave stability but love change. It’s no surprise that in those five years since that reading, I’ve lived in four different places, two of those places twice. San Francisco is one of them, Boston area, where I grew up, the other.
This blend of constantly moving and finding my home is something I’ve started to accept in my life. I’ve learned that every time I step off that plane in the Golden State, I will immediately feel an ache in my heart to watch another movie with my mom, eat one of my dad’s peculiar meals or make really great (not at all terrible) jokes with my siblings. Things that aren’t exactly tangible across the country. And when I am back on the East Coast, immersed amongst those things, I feel my heart tick a bit more for the constant stream of easy weekend trips in nature, forward-thinking events, or friends whom I share a slew of passions with.
I don’t have a solution for the tango between white picket fence and go go or being in love with a different lifestyle that leaves you far away from your family, but I do have some things I do when the homesickness reaches new heights.
1.) Immerse yourself in a new project & human connection. While I love space and creating it in my life, if I’m going through a bout of homesickness, the last thing I need is space. A few weeks ago, I was having intense family dreams. I would wake up depressed AF. It would trickle into my day if I wasn’t careful. What snapped me out? A new project with new people. Focusing on something else keeps my mind busy. Find an organization you have interest in and volunteer, learn a language or a new skill, take an improv class etc. Also, don’t forget about the health benefits of human connection.
2.) Create more comfort within your own home. I’m pretty lucky to have two roommates who feel like family. If it wasn’t for them, I may have not made it past my second one year SF anniversary and thank god for that because life has been magical ever since. But, I also had to create my own sense of home within my space. I went for the loveliest candles, a big de-clutter session, a new diffuser and some great books close by. In the morning and the night I take a few minutes to settle in and allow the space to give me the familiarity and comfort I’m seeking. Bonus points: animal spirit cards for no reason at all.
3.) Get addicted to a new television show. I’m going to Ayurveda jail for that one, I know it. But the way I view shows is as a helping hand when a distraction is what you need. For me television (besides yoga nidra and nature trips) is one of the few things that shuts my mind off. Of course I don’t recommend more than 1 hour (tops!!) a day and when you start to feel better maybe nix it all together, but it is nice and will help take your mind off of things, which can do wonders for your mental state. Hey overthinking. Side note, I sleep better if I watch a show before bed. I know people say that the blue screen is asking for insomnia, but for me the routine of it and the way it stills the mind, always makes for a solid sleep.
Of course, taking care of yourself when you are homesick is huge. Eating home cooked food (ding, ding, ding) and working out is essential. But it’s way more fun to recommend you watch a show than eat a salad. Nonetheless, homesickness is exactly that, a sickness. Perhaps not physical, but mentally it can be a bitch, so self care is important. Remember it will pass and for me, about 90% of the time, it hits right before a big growth spurt. Keep growing.