BOUNCE BACK from Homesickness…

After only 4 weeks here my host mom has discovered the procrastinator in me when it comes to uni work – tonight I “clocked off” (as us Aussie’s say) at 6pm, but managed to spend 2 hours longer playing with the kids, talking with my host parents while they ate, and even helping my host mom sort out Master Five summer and fall clothing before retiring to my room just after 8 to actually get to work on an assignment that’s due on Friday! And today isn’t the first time – the other night I was hanging out in the kitchen when my host mom (who knew I was supposed to be working on an assignment) whispered something to Master Five, who then came into the kitchen and said “Cyndi, go do uni work.” It was kind of cute, I must admit.

But here I am, procrastinating (a big ‘hi’ to my host mom who will be reading this and shaking her head!) but in a productive way. See, I am actually taking a little break from my assignment to write this blog BECAUSE of something I read in my educational psychology textbook (1 point for me!).

I just passed a month here in the US (woo-hoo for me!) and the last few days I’ve been a little homesick contemplating how long a year really is. But then I read this thing in my textbook tonight that made me put things into perspective. It’s talking about this thing called BOUNCE BACK, and it’s about resilience. Anyways, I thought I would share this with you, particularly the BOUNCE part, because I thought it was relevent to homesickness and what I am feeling at the moment.

Bad times don’t last. Things always get better. Stay optimistic. The homesickness will go away. IT WILL GET BETTER.

Other people can help if you talk to them. Get a reality check. Seriously. The worse thing you can do is keep your feelings to yourself and let them multiply. Talk to someone about it. You will feel better afterwards, guaranteed.

Unhelpful thinking makes you feel more upset. Don’t dwell on how homesick you are. Do something that you enjoy. Get out of the house. See a funny movie.

Nobody is perfect – not you and not others. Not your host parents, not your host kids. If someone if doing something that annoys you or is making you feel homesick, talk to them about it. They may not realise they are doing it or that it is affecting you!

Concentrate on the good bits no matter how small they are and use laughter. Make friends. Hang out with friends. Plan trips! LAUGH! It works!

Everybody experiences sadness, hurt, failure, rejection and setbacks sometimes, not just you. You are not the first person in the world to be homesick and you won’t be the last. Again, talk to someone. Talk to another au pair – they know what you are going through and can help you put things into perspective.

Don’t let homesickness get the best of you. Seriously. You are here for a reason. You are here to learn, to challenge yourself, to grow. You are here to make friends, to spend time with a new family, to travel. Don’t let a few minutes (or hours, or days even) of sadness take that away from you. Be proactive. Do something about it.

Thanks to my textbook, Psychology for Educators (Vialle et al. 2005) and particularly the BOUNCE BACK! Resiliency Program (Noble, 2004) for this.
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This entry was posted in Advice, Au Pairing, Homesickness, USA 2011/2012. Bookmark the permalink.

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