Holidays and Homesickness in KL: Dealing with the Dumps
Across Malaysia, the repeated implementations of lockdowns and MCOs have sent many scrambling to get home. Some refrained from this mass exodus, choosing to stay away to keep their families safe. And some did not have either option.
Living away from family may already have been a tough choice, and being kept away due to border shutdowns definitely amplified frustrations.
Many family holidays had to be missed. Ramadhan, Deepavali, even the Mooncake Festival had to be very low-key, dissuading gatherings to curb the spread of Covid-19. Now with Christmas and New Year around the corner, and infection rates still climbing, homesickness hits harder than ever.
How to identify homesickness?
Taking from groups familiar with moving away from family en masse (international students!) a few tell-tale signs of homesickness can be identified.
Homesickness has been likened to grief, as one may feel the loss of an entire environment. Yearning and longing for familiarity manifests in nostalgia, and the feeling that something is wrong.
Feeling a bit more wound up than usual? Appetite all over the place? Mental health checks more challenging than usual? Combined with the immense stress brought about by pandemic and economic concerns, keeping a strong and stable disposition is understandably hard.
How to cope?
As the whole world has been triggered to phase into adaptation and continuous uncertainty, managing mental health should be the priority. Apart from these tips, gearing up to face the new year will take a few more adjustments.
– Normalising/ Understanding.
You are going to be sad. You are away from family. You are here. Getting used to this reality is a form of self-compassion. Do not idealize what was supposed to happen this time of the year, for it will affect your ability to appreciate and notice the ‘here and now’.
– Create some new traditions!
Celebrate Christmas and New Year in the ways you never could! Try having an emo Christmas to really deal with pangs of guilt. Do like the Japanese and have some KFC for your holiday feast. After months of struggling and trying to get back on your productive feet, indulge in yourself with some slack and comfort.
Tip: Avoid getting plastered. Alcohol, while warm and fuzzy, provides a mood altering experience that can go both ways. Instead of feeling high and happy, the dangers of focusing on the negatives can happen, and that’s too much of a risk for some!
– Find your support system
The city of Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s most happening metropolis. Your move here may have been influenced by jobs and studies, but no one hasn’t made a friend or two since! Check in on them, make some plans for the New Year 2021 (remember to follow this pandemic-saftey guideline!). If not, an online call or a thoughtful email to friends and family back home can suffice.
Keeping to a routine also helps immensely in dealing with homesickness. Not only will it aid in continuing your transition into a new life, knowing your timings will also help in introducing new, healthy habits into your daily organization.
As the antidote to urban isolation, co-living can help you in this time of need! With a network of shared living, finding a community that is going through the same experiences you are will help you manage your homesickness and encourage you to live life the best you can. Discover your urban tribe with Hom today!