Being an international healthcare professional can be an incredible journey filled with learning, growth, and rewarding experiences. However, being far away from home and loved ones can also lead to feelings of homesickness – a common experience that can impact your mental well-being. In this article, we will discuss ways to overcome homesickness and maintain good mental health while settling into your new life in the U.S., with practical tips for staying connected with family and friends back home.
Staying in touch with family and friends
Use technology: Thanks to modern technology, staying in touch with people back home is easier than ever. Use video calls, such as Skype, Messenger or FaceTime, to see your loved ones’ faces and hear their voices. This can help reduce feelings of homesickness by recreating the sense of being in the same room, as you’re talking face to face. Regular scheduled calls and messaging can create a sense of routine and connection.
Share experiences: Share your experiences with your loved ones through storytelling, photos, and videos. Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are great platforms for this, but there are plenty others you can use! This will give them a glimpse into your life abroad and help them stay connected to you – don’t forget that they will be missing you, too. Additionally, hearing about your family and friends’ daily lives can give you a sense of normalcy and keep you engaged in their lives.
Plan visits: If possible, plan visits to go back home and see your family and friends. Having something to look forward to can help alleviate homesickness. Knowing that you will see your loved ones in the near future can provide a sense of comfort and anticipation.
Lean on a supportive network: As part of the Conexus MedStaff community, you’ll be surrounded by international healthcare professionals who have also made the move to live and work in the U.S. Additionally, have dedicated Engagement Managers on-ground to personally support you as and when needed as you acclimatize to life in America. Engaging in community activities and getting to know your fellow Conexus MedStaff nurses and medical technologists will help you feel less alone and more connected to your new environment.
Creating a community: Building a community is a vital step towards overcoming homesickness and maintaining good mental health. We explore the importance of community in this blog, and you can read our helpful guide to building a community you love after moving country. Having people you can rely on and trust is incredibly important to leading a successful, happy life, regardless of where you live in the world.
Engage in hobbies and interests: Discover and participate in activities that you enjoy. Whether it's joining a sports club, taking cooking classes, or volunteering in your community, engaging in hobbies and interests can help you meet new people and build a sense of community. Take a look at our blog for some social hobby inspiration!
Explore the local culture: Immerse yourself in the local culture by participating in cultural events, festivals, and activities. Embracing your new surroundings can make you feel more connected to your new home and ease feelings of homesickness.
Maintaining good mental health is crucial for everyone, but especially for healthcare professionals. Numerous studies have shown that good mental health positively influences job satisfaction, patient outcomes, and overall quality of life. According to a study conducted at Harvard Medical School, individuals with good mental health are more likely to have stronger immune systems, improved cognitive capabilities, and reduced risk of chronic diseases.
Big life changes can be stressful. It’s important to know that the Conexus MedStaff community will be available to help you at every stage of your move to the U.S. We try to make the process as easy and smooth as possible. However, if you feel you need additional support, there are several institutions and charities in the United States that provide free mental health support. These organizations can offer guidance, counseling, and resources to ensure your well-being.
Here are a couple of notable institutions:
Mental Health America: Mental Health America is a non-profit organization that provides support and resources for individuals experiencing mental health challenges. They offer free online screening tools, informational resources, and community support networks.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the United States. They provide education, support groups, and advocacy for individuals living with mental illnesses. NAMI offers free support groups in many communities across the country.
Homesickness is common and can be overcome. By staying in touch with family and friends, building a support network, and seeking extra help if you need it, you can effectively manage homesickness and maintain good mental health. Remember, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your patients, and by doing so, you will thrive both personally and professionally.
Conexus MedStaff is the preferred choice of thousands of international registered nurses and medical technologists who want to start a new career in the U.S. Find out how we can help you by applying today.