Being away from home is always uneasy, but when it’s not your choice to stay away, it can be downright difficult. After close to two months of a self-quarantine state, it can feel like there is an ocean dividing you and your home. Here are 4 ways to deal with the homesickness that comes with the shutdown.
1. Zoom! Skype! Messenger!
It may seem obvious, but what may not be as obvious is the duration and frequency you could be calling loved ones. I like to call my family at least once a week with text messaging filling in the gaps. That one video call keeps me going: being able to see the smiling faces of my parents helps me feel reassured that everything is going to be okay.
An hour may have seemed long before the shutdown, but it’s going to feel much needed and maybe even not enough time. A two hour Facebook call with my friends from high school was such a blast!
2. Go old fashioned and write home.
Before my grandmother passed, I would send handwritten letters to her since she could no longer type. It felt like such a special connection to her and it added an excitement that I hadn’t felt since I was a little kid: waiting for a letter to arrive in the mail.
You could even turn it into a mini diary series where you write to your family everything that has happened, no matter how small. My cat tried to jump onto the bed in the middle of the night and missed entirely. She woke us up, so we decided to just stay awake and listen to records.
Encourage your family members to send notes back. Include little objects if you want! I like to send stickers to my nephews when I write something to my sister and she’ll send me back perfume samples. It’s so silly and simple, but brings so much joy to my day.
3. Watch movies together.
Remember when we used to cringe at long-distance couples watching movies together on Facetime? Yeah, welcome to the world of hypocrisy. You can now mash together your two favorite things: your friends and your favorite movies.
There are various apps you can download that will sync the movie you chose to watch together for you, or you can simply set up a camera and point it at a TV screen and pray the quality is good, or you can just count to three on Zoom and click start at the same time. Whichever way you decide to do it, you can stay connected and still have movie nights with those who matter most to you.
4. Reflect and look forward to the day ahead.
Remember these times of seemingly existential loneliness, of having to wear a mask just to see another human being, of being so far yet so close. Reflect on these times when you feel the boredom creeping up on you twenty years from now. Look through your camera roll, go through your social medias, flip through the photo albums, and remember.
Remember the happy times, remember the absolute beauty of nature, of newborn babies surrounded by family, of massive joyous weddings, of beaches full of people, of mall trips when you and your friends were bored, of aimless road trips. Remember.
Now, call your family, get out your pen and paper, whip open your camera roll, and lay the love on those who make you smile.
What do you think? What are you doing to stay connected? Please let me know. Leave a comment below!
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