How to Overcome Homesickness When You're Staying in Singapore for a While

Immersing yourself in a new country can be exciting but it's not uncommon to experience homesickness if you spend more than just a few weeks in it. This can be especially true for visitors to Singapore, thanks to the country’s unique and often unpredictable cultural norms.

As Singapore’s role as an international trade and technology hub deepens, more and more foreign nationals are making their way to the city-state to work and build new lives. Consequently, more long-term visitors and expats than ever before are expressing feelings of homesickness, sometimes even after decades of living in the country.

Thankfully, with some tried and tested coping strategies, most people can navigate these emotions, mitigating feelings of alienation. If you’re experiencing homesickness now or are planning to move to Singapore, we have a few strategies that should help make the rest of your stay a happier one:

Stay Connected 

Keep in touch with your loved ones back home through regular phone calls, video chats, or messaging apps. Sharing your experiences and staying connected with familiar faces can provide comfort and do much to alleviate homesickness. If you’re going to be in the country for a while, avoid expensive roaming charges when calling home by finding the cheapest mobile plan Singapore has to offer.

Establish a Routine 

Having a routine can keep you from dwelling on negative emotions and can make it easier to enjoy positive experiences. Try to create a daily routine that includes activities you enjoy and find comfort in. Having a structured schedule can help you adjust to the new environment and provide a sense of stability. 

Explore the Local Culture

Homesickness can be made worse when you’re hemmed in by a culture you don’t understand. To mitigate your homesickness, try immersing yourself in Singapore's fascinating culture. Fortunately, the country is full of excellent museums, cultural events, and outstanding local cuisines that will help you make better sense of why things are the way they are. Learning more about the various local customs and embracing their positive aspects should help you feel more connected to your surroundings, over time. 

Make New Friends 

Being with people you like can prevent constant feelings of alienation. Luckily, there are plenty of local social clubs, community events, and hobby groups that are just perfect for meeting new people whose interests match yours. Building a support network of friends can make you feel more at home and may also open up new opportunities for you in Singapore.

Stay Active

According to the Harvard Medical School, engaging in moderate exercise can be as effective as taking antidepressants in some cases. Regular exercise should, therefore, not only distract you from thoughts of home but also directly improve your well-being in a meaningful way. Even better, you can use your exercise time to explore the country’s world-famous parks and gardens.

Learn Some Singlish 

Take the initiative to learn some basic phrases in Singlish, Singapore’s very own English-based creole language. For English speakers, Singlish tends to be easier than Singapore’s other major languages to pick up, and it’s a tongue that most locals will tend to use in casual inter-community conversations. Learning Singlish (or better yet, Mandarin, Malay, or Tamil) shows respect for the local culture and can make interactions with locals more meaningful. 

Create a Home Away from Home

As mentioned earlier, Singapore is a major international trade hub, which means you can easily source items from your home country. Personalise your living space with items that remind you of home to give it a sense of comfort and familiarity. 

Seek Support 

If feelings of homesickness persist, consider seeking support from a professional counsellor or expat support groups. They can provide guidance and help you navigate the challenges of living in Singapore. Singapore’s large expatriate community should also be able to connect you with qualified mental health experts who are cognisant of the issues faced by foreign nationals. 

Explore Singapore's Nature

Being surrounded by nature can help uplift your mood, making your homesickness easier to handle. Thankfully, despite it being one of the smallest countries in the world, Singapore maintains several stunning nature reserves, beaches, and other getaways. Spend time exploring these natural spaces to enjoy a serene and calming environment. When possible, aim to visit these spots on the weekdays so that you’ll have a good shot of having them all to yourself.

Embrace New Experiences 

Rather than focusing on what you miss from home, try actively changing your mindset so that you’re better able to embrace the many unique experiences that Singapore has to offer. As small as it is, the city-state offers a diversity of experiences that isn’t matched by many larger countries. You will undoubtedly come across many opportunities to do things you never had before, so do your best to try as many of them as you can.

Remember, overcoming homesickness takes time and consistent effort. No matter how prepared you think you are, you will have occasional ups and downs. By implementing these coping strategies as consistently as you can, you can not only make your stay in Singapore a pleasant one but also a thoroughly enriching chapter in your life.

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