Confessions,  Thriving

Help! I’m three months in and I’m feeling blue…

Dear John,

We talked about this kind of blue feeling last year, but if you moved abroad in August/September, you might be noticing homesickness* creep up on you now, in November. Like I mentioned last year, it doesn’t really seem to matter where I am or how much fun I am having, after I manage to get my bearings in a new city, I tend to miss what I have left behind. For me this tends to be around month three into a new adventure, which is why today I wanted to share with you this video I made about what I call “the three month feeling.”

*I call it being homesick because it is the closest word I can find in English to this feeling… however, I am not truly convinced it is the right description.

So, What are Some Things I do to help me with the Three Month Feeling?

I will be embarking on a new journey soon that will find me in another city (and a country I’ve never even been to before) and knowing me, I will plan to set aside some time myself to help me through when I am feeling low. Some of my favorite things to do, just for me are:

  • Make a cup of tea and read a book: It might sound super cliché, but I am that person who loves to sit down with a good book and just devour it, only getting up to refill my cup of tea or for a cookie. I am honestly not a TV series or movie person, so this is my way of emerging myself into another world and letting my problems disappear while I am visiting that world.

    Pro-tip: figuring out how you escape (no, it doesn’t solve your problems, but it can help you find perspective) is essential if you need a little break from your day to day life, especially if you are feeling down.
  • Go for a walk: I am also that person that needs to move if I want to be mentally sane and walking is one of the best ways to get in a little bit of unplanned exercise—especially since I am not a gym person. I personally like to walk around the city taking everything in (even without a specific destination) or listen to podcasts and getting my daily dose of someone else’s perspective. ’

  • Make myself a special meal: Because food is so important to my family culture, by cooking a good meal I am able to care for myself (beyond pure nutrition, food also represents group time and loving your family/friends for me). It doesn’t necessarily have to be a healthy meal, but something that warms me up physically and emotionally usually makes every situation seem more bearable.

  • Go out for for a meal, alone: If I don’t want to cook (it is rare, but it does happen), I will treat myself to a meal out. And, actually, there is something I really like about going out by myself, usually with a book to read or a notebook to jot down the ideas flowing through my head. I really like spending time alone—even when I’m missing home—and this is another way for me give this relationship with myself importance.

  • Skype with friends: There are people that I really care about (and love Skyping with) in a bunch of different time zones, making it harder to keep in touch or catch up with. However, when I am feeling a little blue, I do try to make more of an effort to virtually hang out with these special people—check out this post for more tips about communicating with people who live in different places.

  • Create a connection/share: Of course, there are moments when I want to be with people, even if they are a far cry from the friends I have had for years. When I feel the desire to be social, I either call up (or whatsapp, if we are being honest) people I know or go looking for other people who are looking for friends in the city (intercambios are great for this).

  • Have a good cry: While it is not something that I like to do in front of other people, having a good cry is a really (in my experience) productive way to let out a bunch of pent-up energy. There are several books and movies that I know will have me crying before sad things even start to happen, and these are my go-tos when I have the need to cry building up inside of me.

Have you experienced this three month feeling? What do you do to combat it?


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