Homesickness & Loneliness

Homesickness & Loneliness

Homesickness is something that is experienced by most students at some point, particularly if you are moving out of home for the first time. Sometimes homesickness can also trigger feelings of loneliness, which can be a difficult and distressing emotion to manage.

Here you will find some tips and advice on how to manage these feelings and where to get help if you need it. If you would like to speak to someone about how you are feeling you can email us at ausaadvice@abdn.ac.uk 

Resources:

 

Homesickness

According to NUS, around half of students experience homesickness, which means that you’re very much not alone. Here are some ideas to help you settle in and enjoy the university experience…

- Listen to music – moving into your room at university for the first time is an environment that can take getting used to, Music can be a good way to help your room feel more you! play your favourite tunes whilst you unpack.
- Wear cosy clothes – this may sound crazy, but a pair of slippers and a big thick jumper really can make you feel better! Make yourself a hot drink in your favourite mug. Happiness guaranteed
- Do something familiar – read a favourite book or re-watch an old TV series.
- Look after yourself – eat good food, get lots of sleep and wander outside to get some fresh air every now and again!
- Keep busy – as much as possible, fill your time with plenty of different activities and take the opportunity to try new things. The more you spend time around other people, the less you are able to dwell on your thoughts, and chances are that the simple act of going out and doing things will help you feel more positive.
- Join a club or society – learn something new, meet a different group of people and make a regular commitment to doing something you enjoy.

Spend some time turning your room into a cosy space that you’ll enjoy spending time in. Here are a few ideas…    

- Hang up posters/pictures. These are a great way to make your room feel your own and inject a bit of personality. (use something that won't leave a mark on the wall!)
- Fairy lights make a room feel so snug! (Ok, a bit cliche but totally works!). Or any kind of mood lighting might help.
- Blankets & cushions are a must, especially in winter.
- Put up lots and lots of photos! Family, friends, home and university to remind you of all the important things in your life.

Most importantly look after yourself, keep in touch with loved ones from home regularly and visit as often as you can. If you are feeling homesick try reaching out to a friend or a new flatmate, chances are they may be feeling the same, make plans and help each other through it. If you want to speak to someone about how you are feeling you can always email ausaadvice@abdn.ac.uk for some advice or support.

Loneliness

We all feel lonely from time to time. Feelings of loneliness are personal, so everyone’s experience of loneliness will be different.

One common description of loneliness is the feeling we get when our need for rewarding social contact and relationships is not met. But loneliness is not always the same as being alone. You may choose to be alone and live happily without much contact with other people, while others may find this a lonely experience.

Or you may have lots of social contact, or be in a relationship or part of a family, and still feel lonely – especially if you don’t feel understood or cared for by the people around you.

If you have been feeling lonely there are some things you can try to help alleviate those feelings - For tips on how to manage feelings of loneliness see the Mind.Org help page. - tips to manage loneliness

Having a mental health problem can increase your chance of feeling lonely. Or you may experience social phobia – also known as social anxiety – and find it difficult to engage in everyday activities involving other people, which could lead to a lack of meaningful social contact and cause feelings of loneliness.

Feeling lonely can also have a negative impact on your mental health, especially if these feelings have lasted a long time. Some research suggests that loneliness is associated with an increased risk of certain mental health problems, including depressionanxietylow self-esteemsleep problems and increased stress.

Resource cited: www.mind.org.uk