a man hugging a woman with the words how to deal with homesickness after.

How to Deal With Homesickness After a Military Move

Military life is marked by frequent moves, and for those who have just moved, homesickness can be a common occurrence. This feeling can be especially difficult for military personnel and their families, who may be far from their loved ones and their comfort zone. Dealing with homesickness is an essential step in adjusting to a new duty station, and recognizing the symptoms is the first step in addressing it. In this article, we will explore the stages of grief that come with moving, offer tips on how to cope with homesickness, and provide resources to help military families feel more connected to home.

Understanding Homesickness

Moving to a new place can be exciting, but it can also be stressful and disorienting. Homesickness is a common emotional response to relocation, especially for military families. It can be defined as the feeling of distress or longing for one’s home or family, often accompanied by a sense of disconnection and disorientation. Homesickness can manifest itself in various ways, such as sadness, loneliness, anxiety, or physical discomfort.

Homesickness is often characterized by the stages of grief, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages can be experienced in various orders and with varying degrees of intensity. Military moves, in particular, can be stressful and trigger feelings of homesickness, especially when leaving behind family, friends, and familiar places.

Common triggers of homesickness after a military move include missing loved ones, a sense of disconnection from home, and unfamiliarity with the new surroundings. The intensity of homesickness can vary, with some people experiencing mild discomfort and others struggling with more intense feelings of depression and anxiety. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of homesickness and take steps to address them.

Coping Strategies for Homesickness

One of the best ways to cope with homesickness is to find ways to feel more connected to home. While it may be difficult to recreate the exact feeling of home, there are practical tips that can help ease the transition. Here are some strategies to consider:

Creating a Comfortable Living Space:

  • Personalize your new space with items from home, such as pictures or mementos.
  • Use familiar scents, such as candles or air fresheners, to make your new space feel more like home.
  • Bring comfortable bedding and pillows to make your new bed feel more familiar.

Staying Connected with Loved Ones Back Home:

  • Set up regular phone or video chats with friends and family back home.
  • Send and receive care packages with items from home, such as favorite foods or sentimental items.
  • Use social media to stay connected and up-to-date with the lives of loved ones.

Taking Advantage of Military Resources

  • Utilize military support services such as Military OneSource or the Family Readiness Group.
  • Connect with other military families and spouses for support and friendship.
  • Take advantage of free or discounted resources such as counseling services or moving assistance.

By implementing these coping strategies, it can be possible to feel more comfortable in your new surroundings and cope with feelings of homesickness. It is important to remember that these intense feelings are normal and to give yourself time to adjust to the new environment.

Resources for Military Families 

Military families face unique challenges, and it’s important for them to know about the resources available to them. These resources can provide support and help ease the transition during a move.

Moving companies that specialize in military moves offer flexible financing options and personalized moving quotes. These companies understand the specific needs of military families and can help make the moving process as stress-free as possible.

Military families can also take advantage of support services provided by the military, such as child care and family support centers. These centers offer counseling services, educational resources, and other forms of assistance to help military families navigate the challenges of military life.

Military kids may benefit from counseling and education services designed to support them through the unique challenges they face. For example, the Military Child Education Coalition provides resources and support to military children to ensure they receive quality education no matter where they are stationed.

Veterans and their loved ones can also access resources and support for dealing with military-related stress. The Veterans Crisis Line offers confidential support and counseling for veterans and their families who may be struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.

By taking advantage of the resources available to them, military families can feel more supported and better equipped to handle the challenges of military life.

Supporting a Military Spouse

Military spouses often face unique challenges during a military move. They may have to leave behind their own careers and social networks, making it difficult to adjust to a new environment. It is important to recognize the sacrifices military spouses make and support them during the transition.

One way to support a military spouse dealing with homesickness is to encourage them to stay connected with family back home. This can be done through regular phone calls, video chats, and care packages. Making new connections at a new duty station can also be helpful. Encourage your spouse to join a local military spouse group or volunteer in the community.

Additionally, it is important to prioritize self-care and open communication. Encourage your spouse to take breaks when needed and engage in activities that bring them joy. Encourage open communication about feelings of homesickness and offer a listening ear. With support and understanding, military spouses can overcome the challenges of homesickness and thrive in their new environments.

Adjusting to Life in the Military  

Joining the military can be an exciting and life-changing experience, but it can also come with challenges, especially for those who are new to military life. Here are some tips for adjusting to life in the military:

  1. Understand Basic Training: Basic training is a critical aspect of joining the military. It’s where recruits learn the fundamentals of military life, including discipline, physical fitness, and teamwork. It’s essential to prepare both physically and mentally for basic training to succeed in it.
  1. Familiarize Yourself with Military History: Learning about military history can help you understand the significance of your role in the military. It can also give you a sense of pride in the military’s achievements, which can be motivating.
  1. Move Forward: It’s common to feel homesickness after moving away from home, especially when you are in a foreign country. It’s crucial to stay positive and move forward with the help of family and friends, as well as military resources.
  1. Foods from Home: If you’re living overseas, it can be challenging to find food that reminds you of home. Consider bringing some of your favorite foods with you, or try to find local restaurants that serve your favorite dishes.
  1. Marine Corps: If you’re joining the Marine Corps, prepare for a rigorous training experience. The Marine Corps is known for its demanding physical training, but it’s also known for its camaraderie and sense of pride.
  1. Moving Resources: Military moves can be stressful and overwhelming, but there are resources available to help you navigate the process. Consider using military moving resources, such as PCS Move, to help you plan and execute a successful move.
  1. Space Force: The newest branch of the military, the Space Force, offers exciting opportunities for those interested in space exploration and technology. Familiarize yourself with the mission and goals of the Space Force to determine if it’s the right fit for you.
  1. Coast Guard: The Coast Guard is a unique branch of the military that is primarily responsible for protecting our nation’s waters. If you’re interested in water-based operations and search and rescue missions, consider joining the Coast Guard.
  1. National Guard: The National Guard is a reserve component of the U.S. military that is primarily responsible for responding to domestic emergencies and natural disasters. If you’re interested in serving your country while staying close to home, consider joining the National Guard.
  1. PCS Move: A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move can be one of the most stressful aspects of military life. Consider using military resources, such as the PCS Move website, to help you plan and execute a successful move.
  1. Living Overseas: If you’re living overseas, it can be challenging to adjust to a new culture and way of life. Take advantage of military resources, such as the Military OneSource website, to help you acclimate to your new surroundings.

By following these tips and utilizing military resources, you can adjust to life in the military and feel more connected to your new community. Remember, the military is a unique and rewarding experience that offers many opportunities for personal and professional growth.


The experience of homesickness after a military move can be overwhelming, but it is important to address these feelings to ease the transition. We’ve discussed the symptoms and stages of homesickness, as well as coping strategies for feeling more connected to home and creating a comfortable living space in a new duty station. There are resources available to military families, including support services and counseling for military kids. It’s also important to support a military spouse dealing with homesickness through open communication and self-care. Remember to seek out help and resources when needed and honor the sacrifices made by military families and veterans on Veterans Day.

Picture of Wes Struebing

Wes Struebing

After more than 30 years in the logistics sector, I have learned a thing or two about moving things and motivating people to do their best and offer their all to our customers. Whether in life or in business, I believe in one thing: I only want to be there if I can improve things.

Logistics is not only what I do; it is my passion.

Picture of Wes Struebing

Wes Struebing

After more than 30 years in the logistics sector, I have learned a thing or two about moving things and motivating people to do their best and offer their all to our customers. Whether in life or in business, I believe in one thing: I only want to be there if I can improve things.

Logistics is not only what I do; it is my passion.