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Dear Dish-It: I'm Homesick

Dear Dish-it,

I think I might be homesick. I haven't seen my brothers, my dad, and my friends for 3 months. What do I do to be happy?


Dear Depressing,

When you're not at home for a long period of time, it can be fun and exciting for some kids or scary and sad for others. It sounds like you're missing your parents, your bed, and all that everyday stuff at home. It's called being homesick, and it's not like being sick in the usual way. Homesick means you're upset, sad, and maybe scared. Your mind may feel bad (as in, you start feeling depressed), and being upset can sometimes make your body feel bad, too.

But here's the good news? You can help yourself feel less homesick by bringing something special from home with you, like your pillow, or pictures of the people you'll be apart from that you can look at any time you want. You can also try and keep yourself busy. The more fun stuff you do, the less time you'll have to feel homesick. Try to join in activities wherever you are. Even if you're not completely into it at first, you might soon start to have a good time.

It's also a good idea to stay in touch with the people you miss back home. This doesn't mean spending all your time on the phone with your parents, which can make you miss out on all the fun. Instead, make a plan or schedule for when you'll call your mom or dad. Set a regular day and time for a phone call home. You can also email or text message to stay in touch with family and friends - you can even go retro and write a letter to send through snail mail! When you do get in touch with someone, make sure to talk about the fun things you're doing!

Finally, try talking to someone where you are. Sometimes, just telling someone that you're feeling a little homesick will help you feel better. Maybe you can tell a friend that you feel homesick and the two of you can do something fun. Plus, he or she might have some ideas to help you feel better. If you're still feeling homesick no matter how hard you try to fight it, you should really talk with your mom and dad about the problem. Tell them if you're so upset you can't sleep, eat, or do your usual stuff. You can learn to feel less homesick. I really hope you do. Why? So you don't miss out on all those adventures waiting for you!

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