The Caribbean is a slow-paced, relaxing, tropical paradise. For many that live in the Caribbean, having the opportunity to attend school and work in the U.S., Canada or U.K. doesn’t leave much room for the idea that one may eventually miss home. When we move, it’s not just the people we miss, but our favorite places, and memories left behind. Ultimately, as many move “a foreign” or abroad, it can be expensive and cumbersome to return at one’s leisure. While it’s important to try to travel at least once a year for special occasions, focusing on missing home can only impact one’s daily routine in work and life.
While many think this topic is a bit of a departure from the typical art-design-life oriented posts, the subject was actually the catalyst that propelled At Her Leisure to where it is today. Let me explain. Many of you may be familiar with my story. In 2013, I accepted a promotion that relocated me to Delaware. While I had many things to focus on; school, work, homework, I never mastered avoiding the reality of where I was. I was in not just in an unfamiliar place, but a very depressing one. Wilmington, Delaware, or financial row, shut down at 5 pm and was a ghost town on the weekends. I didn’t have a car and I especially didn’t want people seeing where I lived. Despite my success, the work environment became toxic and I myself became sick. I gained weight, stress covered my face in acne and my hair was shedding. I began drawing conclusions that I had cancer or lupus and started visiting the doctors as frequently as possible. I was fortunate to have a sounding board but I owe my healing to self-care and three tips that made the recovery a bit easier.
Homesickness is adult separation anxiety. While you can try your hardest to have a grip on life, being somewhere where you’re not appreciated is just plain unhealthy. You’re not bi-polar or any other negative trait, you are just aware, plain and simple, that this place, people, and environment no longer serves you.
3 Things You Can Do to Combat Homesickness
1. Research the hell out of it.
Before you self-diagnose with something more severe, understanding your triggers, symptoms, and changes in mood will help to better assess and recognize the issue. Whether it’s the initial thought of going into a work meeting, seeing a colleague, answering the phone, or even traffic, find ways to better alleviate the stress. As an employee relations consultant, it was my job to not only educate callers on their rights and benefits but motivate them to acquire and not aspire. We tend to sit on information without taking action and having a push or support can spring one into action when they’re not feeling like themselves.
2. Buy gifts for friends and family
Acts of kindness are one of the most fulfilling things people can do to lift their spirits. When I learned that a friend was traveling to Argentina, I created a “Wanderer Kit”. It included stones for grounding and protection, a scratch-off map, a card and a few other items important for self. Just because you may miss out on a trip, annual event, or birthday doesn’t call for misery and melancholy. That same gift exchange continued throughout the year as hearing the reaction and gratitude of thoughtfulness creates an energy felt hundreds of miles away. Those are the vibrations for wellness.
3. Travel where you can. When the doctor informed me that my plans of traveling to Jamaica were off, I drew a blank. I had been mapping, mulling and constructing this idea for months. Fortunately, right now doesn’t mean never, and there are plenty of other destinations to consider. Focus on where you can go to get that same happiness in the meantime. Never compare, just stay positive and manifest that it will happen. The Southwest, West Coast, and New York have much to offer culturally in the spring and summer months. From festivals to community events, just finding your people can help fill the void until you can get back home.
Over the years, I’ve received many questions and compliments on how At her Leisure was established, and I not only find that I answer their initial question, but we’re able to discuss self-care, mental health and other issues that people of color face in their daily lives. Knowing my passion has helped others helps others to feel a little less alone is rewarding.
Wishing everyone wellness.
Author: Jennifer Wilder
Jennifer Aria Wilder-Boynes is a passionate, heart-centered illustrator supplying art, fashion and decor around the world. Her original designs are saturated in influence from travel, culture, and well-being.
Jennifer concentrated on contributing to a global understanding and appreciation of Caribbean culture, traditions, lifestyle, and identities and how that extends to Africa. At Her Leisure celebrates the entire Caribbean region and its Diaspora. At Her Leisure brings Afro- Caribbean culture to diverse audiences both on and offline in addition to keeping the Diaspora connected with their cultural heritage.
Developed in the U.S. and designed from inspiration around the world. For life, travel and leisure through love, travel and wander!