Living and working in a remote outback community can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience, but it can also come with its own set of challenges, such as homesickness.
First aid is treatment provided during an incident until you can get more support or long term solutions. Sometimes a little first aid is all you need- sometimes you need more. This so is true for brain health and mental health issues.
Below are some hints and tips to help you address your feelings straight away- to overcome homesickness or to deal with it until you can reach out for support.
- Acknowledge your feelings. Recognise that feeling homesick is a normal and common experience for new remote outback teachers. It’s important to acknowledge and validate your feelings rather than trying to suppress them.
- Connect with others. Connecting with others can help to alleviate feelings of homesickness. Reach out to family and friends through phone or video calls, or connect with other remote outback teachers.
- Create a sense of home. Create a sense of home in your living space by personalising it with familiar items and photos.
- Engage in activities you enjoy. Engage in activities that you enjoy, such as hobbies or sports, to help you feel more connected and fulfilled. No classes or groups for your hobby or sport in your remote community? Start one!
- Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness practices such as meditation, journaling, or yoga can help to reduce feelings of homesickness and promote relaxation. Journaling in particular lets you name the feeling, explore the way it makes you feel and think about it in your context. It allows you to track your feelings, what helps and what sparks homesickness again.
- Seek professional help. If you find that you’re struggling to manage feelings of homesickness, seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide you with the tools and resources you need to cope with these challenges. These aren’t always available quickly in remote communities- so stay connected with your counselor from back home, call one of the free mental health lines, schedule a an appointment for your next trip to the larger town or home, or connect with someone like A Counseled Life who has experience supporting remote outback teachers via Zoom or calls.
- Take care of your physical and mental health. Taking care of your physical and mental health is important. Make sure to eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly.
It’s important to remember that feeling homesick is a normal experience and that it will pass. By acknowledging your feelings, connecting with others, and taking care of your physical and mental health, you can manage homesickness and continue to make a positive impact on the lives of your students and the community.
We have a course for New Remote Teachers that covers mental health, brain health and managing the challenges of remote teaching. Check it out here.
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