How do Irish emigrants cope with homesickness?
Nearly three quarters of Irish emigrants feel homesick at least once a month, according to a new government website.
The site – mindhowyougo.ie – was set up as a joint venture between Crosscare and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Its aim is to provide Irish emigrants with essential support and advice as they look to start a new life in another country.
The site was built to provide results of a survey of 500 emigrants which included topics such as how they prepared for life in a new country as well as how they cope living so far from home.
Moving abroad and experiencing a new culture can an exciting chapter in a person’s life. However, there are drawbacks, with loneliness being one of the major problem for Irish people.
The survey asked emigrants how often they felt homesick, what triggered those feelings and how they coped with being away from home.
What is likely to trigger homesickness?
Nearly 72% of people said they felt homesick at least once a month, and 13.73% said they felt homesick one or more times per day. Only 5.33% said that they never felt homesick.
The biggest trigger for feelings of homesickness were hearing news of events involving their friends and family with 42% saying news of occasions back in Ireland made them feel homesick.
Other triggers of homesickness included speaking with family members (19%) and being alone or feeling lonely (6%).
How do people deal with homesickness?
People dealt with their homesickness in a number of ways. The most common way (42%) was to keep in regular contact with friends and family.
Many said that they found Facebook difficult as they were likely to see photos of their friends socialising without them. People found other methods of communication such as Whatsapp and Skype preferable.
Sadly, the second most common response (27%) to the question involved respondents coming to terms with their loneliness and learning to accept it as a part of their lives.
People said that they remind themselves that the ‘feeling will pass’ and that they should ‘ride it out’. They allow themselves to feel sad for a while and then move on. Others remind themselves why they left in the first place, and of the good things about their new home.
Many people (18%) said the best way to deal with homesickness was to make sure they kept themselves busy and to socialise as much as possible.
Other answers included following Irish media and planning trips home or even eventually moving back to Ireland.
There is plenty of advice on the site for Irish emigrants, click here for more