FIFO Life Part 43: Dealing with homesickness

FIFO Focus’ Dr John Forbes  joins Big Al as part of the REDFM series FIFO Life.

In part 43, Dr John provides information and tips on dealing with homesickness.

Homesickness occurs quite frequently for FIFO workers and happens when someone is having trouble adjusting to a new environment away from where they usually live. It’s essentially a grieving process because we’ve lost our normal access to the home environment, our family, and our friends.

Homesickness Symptoms

While it’s often quite obvious when we’re experiencing it, homesickness can include symptoms such as:

  • Loneliness
  • Sadness
  • Thinking of home
  • Low motivation
  • Feelings of loss
  • Nausea
  • Sleep problems
  • Headaches
  • Change in appetite
  • Heart palpitations

Tackling homesickness

It’s important to show yourself some compassion and understanding, and give yourself time to get used to the new environment. Other things you can do to help yourself include:

  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Eating well
  • Exercising
  • Establishing a routine
  • Getting involved with as many things as you can
  • Taking the time to explore (and learn about) your new surroundings
  • Keeping in touch with family and friends
  • Finding and reminding yourself of the positives – the benefits that your FIFO work will bring
  • Keeping things like photos and keepsakes close by

If you find that after two to three weeks, you are still experiencing homesickness, it would be beneficial to seek some help. If your company provides an Employee Assistance Program, access this free service. Homesickness and anxiety can be a big part of the FIFO life so you don’t have to suffer alone.

FIFO Focus has assisted a number of FIFO workers through the homesickness process by identifying other triggers within the workplace. Feel free to make contact with us if you need more information and support.

The content in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. We recommend consulting with a registered health practitioner or contacting us for more tailored support.

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