Despite the fact that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) earn more money than those working for the same job in the Philippines, many of them would readily inform you that if they could only go home and spend more time with their family while earning even just half of what they get abroad, they would grab the chance.
The important thing here, which many people do not see first-hand, is that working abroad is not as easy as we think. Aside from adjusting to different rules on the job and cultural differences, OFWs also have to deal with loneliness and homesickness for prolonged periods (a couple of years, at least), which is no easy feat!
Guide to Overcoming Homesickness for OFWs
While this is a problem that cannot be overlooked, there are many ways to overcome homesickness and help you cope with life as an OFW. Here are a few tips you may consider doing:
- Create time or make an effort for Family Communication.
Perhaps this is the most cliché solution (if not a no-brainer) for every OFW out there. This goes back to the fact that your family is the reason why you are working abroad. And if you are feeling lonely or disconnected from the world, don’t just try to seek happiness from someone else. Instead, make an effort to connect with your family even if you now live in different time zones.
Your effort will keep you motivated in the long-run, and this also ensures that despite the physical absence, you are still with your loved ones, especially during the important periods of their lives.
- Accept your situation and make the most out of it by having fun.
Part of the reality of working as an OFW is that you will have to be away from home for at least a couple of years. It wouldn’t be helpful to wallow in grief knowing the fact that you prepared and made this decision yourself. Instead, learn to accept your situation and find ways to enjoy yourself.
Remember you are now living in a new country where there are plenty of things you can learn and discover. Use this opportunity to gain new experiences, meet new friends, and understand life better.
- Pick a new hobby.
Sad thoughts only bother you when you find yourself with nothing to do. Use your free time to pick a new hobby or a passion which you weren’t able to do back then when you were younger or because of working long hours back home. Aside from being productive with your time, you are also learning skills that will only make you a better person.
- Start a business you can remotely manage.
There’s nothing more time-consuming (yet financially fulfilling) than running your own business. When your mind is busy doing something, as in taking care of your business, you would not have time to linger and wallow in your loneliness. You can start a business that you can manage while abroad – and this can also even become a steady stream of passive income for you.
- Look for part-time online jobs.
Did you know that a lot of bloggers and writers in the Philippines are actually OFWs who have discovered an outlet through writing to overcome their homesickness while overseas? Remember, traveling to new places gives you the edge of experiencing life through the lens of other cultures. Use this to inform, inspire, educate, and entertain others. You can even earn extra cash while doing this.
And while there are so many ways you can explore to deal with loneliness and homesickness, the most important thing to overcome these is to accept that they are just part of life as an OFW. By doing so, you can begin to move on to doing more things that would benefit you as well as the people around you instead of just drowning in self-pity or grief. Remember, not everyone is as blessed as you to get to travel and work at the same time! Enjoy life!
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