One of the biggest hurdles I’ve experienced when I moved to Austin was loneliness. Being so far away from my dear friends and family took an enormous toll on me and everyday I’d suffer from homesickness. Even now, I don’t consider myself completely integrated into my new atmosphere and from time to time, I feel forlorn. However, life has to go on, and I make continuous efforts to alleviate my current situation. Here are some things that have worked for me.
Read – I have absolutely adored reading ever since I was a child. Both Art and Engineering school threw (very large and heavy) wrenches into my pleasure reading opportunities, so now I’m catching up on all the lost time aided by my new Kindle (earned with company recognition points hehe). Recently I finished the first two books of the Market of Monsters series, and am eagerly awaiting the release of the third this September. Not Even Bones – the first of the series – was adapted into a comic on WebToon, and that’s how I discovered it actually. Honestly, I had never seen myself as much of a webcomics person, but I found some wonderful ones that I binged within one night. I recommend: Lore Olympus, True Beauty, and Let’s Play!
Journal – Writing my thoughts down has proven immensely cathartic. Grabbing a pen and a journal, scribbling down whatever flows through my mind at the moment – it’s almost like a Pensieve in real life (Harry Potter fans, where you at?). In addition to my physical journal, I also like reblogging beautiful things on my Tumblr so I can stay inspired. It simply makes me happy to look at all the loveliness.
Take up a new hobby – Even if you’re awful at it! Simply do things that you enjoy, just for the fun of it. As for myself, I am taking up calligraphy, embroidery, and origami this year! Also I consider blogging a hobby too, and it certainly makes me excited and satisfied to blog.
Improve a skill -Whatever it may be. A few weeks ago, I was a terrible cook. Absolutely the worst, no hope whatsoever. Weirdly though, I watched so many Food Network shows that I shamelessly considered cooking an actual hobby of mine. Now, with the help of HelloFresh, I can back up my claims with actual skill. My prowess in the kitchen vastly improved and I enjoy what I create. Safe to say I have added cooking to my figurative toolbelt.
Join Meetup groups – I’ve met some cool people through the Meetup app. It may seem like an inorganic way of making friendships, but I think shyer people like me benefit from organized group events.
Go on a solo trip – Traveling alone will really allow you to get to know yourself, as well as other parts of the world. Last year I traveled to Chicago by myself, and frankly it’s one of my fondest memories. I got to do everything on my own schedule and at a leisurely pace (or as leisurely as could be, given I had 1.5 days to explore the city). Also it certainly is icing on the cake that I saw BTS perform live. P.S. Don’t you just love my super extra keys? Haha!
Self-care – Self-care is so, so important. I’m not just talking about the way you look (though that’s important too), but rather, the way you feel. Get a good night’s rest and relax anytime possible. I try to eat healthy minimally processed foods whenever I can, as well as get moving. A thirty-minute walk outside is the perfect way to hit pause while at work. Of course, I don’t deprive myself either. When I want sweets or snacks, I eat them in moderation. Because of all of this, I feel proud of myself for taking steps to improve my lifestyle. It makes me enjoy my own company.
As a word of caution, none of these will eliminate homesickness and loneliness completely, but they do help and I believe that through the process – I myself am evolving. If you also find yourself in a new place completely removed from everything familiar, I hope you too find these helpful. Let me know if you have any other tips down in the comments below!