Subnet’s 7 Tips on How to Overcome Homesickness While Working Abroad
Filipinos are known for their close relationships with their families regardless of age; hence, one of the challenges of being an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) is fighting homesickness or the extreme anxiety of being away from home while working abroad.
In this week’s blog entry, Subnet RTA will give you some tips on how to win the battle against homesickness as an OFW.
- Bring any tangible thing that will remind you of home. Think of an object that you can associate with the people you love most. Aside from pictures, you might consider a shirt of your child, an anniversary gift from your husband/wife, a handkerchief made by your mother, a wallet given by your father, or anything that brings special memories. No matter how irrelevant that object seems to be, the sentimental value of it is what matters most. Nothing will ever compare to the story behind it and the person who reminds you of it. Just remembering the feelings associated with that object can already help you in dealing with homesickness. So whatever memento you have, bring it with you; it could be your lifesaver in the most depressing times.
- Keep in touch with your loved ones. Luckily, OFWs today can get in touch with their families more often than OFWs decades ago. Thanks to the modern technology, video chat is now a common means of communication. Thus, OFW families can bond like they are together and share important memories anytime. Social media accounts also make long distance relationships work because of easier way of messaging and connecting online. Simply put, keeping in touch is no longer a challenge for OFWs. However, you have to make sure that you don’t overdo it. It is important that you still give your loved ones the space that everyone basically needs.
- Meet new people and create a new set of friends. Do not isolate yourself totally. While working overseas requires independence, it is also important that you blend in with your new community. Establish friendships with Filipinos and foreigners alike. Join groups, attend events and parties, and open yourself up to other people. Try expanding your horizons. Learn about the culture of your new country. Explore its places. You may be working there, but find time to be a tourist as well. Do not stay in your comfort zone. In fact, working overseas already means that you are not afraid of taking risks. Keep it up. You will discover a better version of yourself if you continue welcoming changes in your life.
- Invest in yourself. Yes, you are an OFW because you have a very generous heart that is willing to provide for your family back in the Philippines. Nevertheless, you are an individual first before you are a daughter/son, a sister/brother, a wife/husband, or a mother/father. In other words, you have an intial responsibility to yourself. So learn to reward yourself from time to time. One of the best things you can do is investing in your health. Remember, it is your wealth. You will not be able to help your family if you have a very poor health. All the cliche advices that you’ve been hearing since childhood are actually helpful advices. Watch what you eat. Exercise daily. Sleep more. Do not overwork. Have something to be busy with aside from work. Do you have other passions? Pursue them. How about a talent in the arts or any other field? Try doing activities related to it.
- Create a home away from home. It is given that the Philippines will always be your home. However, you don’t have to take for granted your temporary home, which is the country you are currently living in and working at. To help ease your loneliness and fight your homesickness, it is advisable that you create another home in your place right now. Aside from bringing mementos from home, do the things that will remind you of home. Decorate your room in the same way as your Philippine bedroom. Cook a native dish. Eat at Filipino restaurants. See your fellow OFWs regularly. Watch Filipino movies and TV series. Go to concerts of Filipino artists. Recreate moments that will remind you best of your home. Most importantly, see the similarities of your current place and your home country; you will be surprised at the difference it can make.
- Keep your eyes on the prize. When life gets you down, remember your goal why you are working overseas. Remember the dreams you have for your family and for their future. Keep in mind that you are already on your way of changing your life path. Recall all the sacrifices you made just to be where you are today. Can you imagine how long you waited? Now is not the time for you to give up just because you feel homesick. Instead, now is the time for you to go on and go for the gold. Keep your eyes on the prize, always. Remind yourself that you are working abroad because you have a goal, and you will reach that goal no matter how difficult it seems to be.
- Cling to your Filipino faith and values. Most Filipinos have a strong faith in God regardless of what denominations they belong to. Hold on to that faith. Maintain your relationship with God. Be prayerful at all times. It is your faith that will keep you safe and sound wherever you are. It is the same faith that will keep you going when you feel like giving up. Keep it in the same way that you should keep your Filipino values. Aside from being hardworking, Filipinos are generally optimistic. So keep on having a positive mindset. Do not dwell on any negativity. Look for the silver lining in every worst situation. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. As an OFW, you are already living the Filipino dream. Be thankful. There will be a time to go home. But for now, it’s time to work.
There you go. We, at Subnet RTA, hope that these seven tips can help you deal with, if not fight, homesickness. While it is true that there is no place like home, it is worth noting that a home is not a particular place. It could mean people that you hold dear in your heart. You may not be with them physically every single day, but if you keep them in your heart, it will surely feel like home even if they are on the other side of the world.
To all the OFWs, we wish you well wherever you are! If you wish to be an OFW, you may start your dream now by contacting us.
Registered as Subnet Recruitment Training and Assessment Services Inc. on the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) website, our recruitment agency searches, recruits, documents, processes, and deploys highly skilled, professional, and competent workers from the Philippines to any international destination.