How to Beat Homesickness at a Sleepover
When you're at a sleepover away from your family, it is normal to get homesick, especially if it’s your first few times. You might miss your bed, family, and house, and might even want to go back home. But there are effective ways to beat homesickness, and turn your sleepover into a fun and memorable time. Distract yourself from thoughts about home by playing games and chatting with the other kids. If you can’t fall asleep, pass the time by watching TV, listening to music, or reading, or call your parents to say goodnight!
Coping with Homesickness at Bedtime
Think about positive events when it’s time to go to bed.When you’re about to sleep, you might get homesick and miss your bed. Avoid thoughts about home by focusing on how fun it was to spend the entire night with your friends.
- Think about the new people you’ve met tonight, the different foods or snacks you ate, the games you played, or the movie you watched with your friends.
- Re-imagine and appreciate the enjoyable moments of your night, such as that joke you and your friends laughed at together, or the delicious chocolate cake you had a slice of.
Focus on your breathing when you’re lying in bed.It’s often hard to avoid negative thoughts, especially those about homesickness, before sleeping. If thinking about the positive aspects of your day proves useless, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Bring your focus back to it every time you get distracted by thoughts of home or anything else.
- Count your breaths up to 20, and start over. Try to relax your body parts, focusing on your hands, legs, head, or chest—one at a time.
- You can also think of an image, such as a huge ball of light in your favorite color, or a treasure box where you can lock up all of your worries. Keep thinking of that image until you feel more relaxed and sleepy.
Talk to the other kids if they are also awake.There is nothing embarrassing about being homesick; most kids go through the same thing at first! If you cannot fall asleep and feel homesick, talk to one or more of the other kids about how you’re feeling, and ask if they’ve ever experienced this before.
- They may be able to comfort you or understand your situation. They may even feel the same way at other sleepovers.
- Sharing your feelings with them will bring you all closer and strengthen your friendship.
Read until you fall asleep.Try reading your book until you get sleepy. Reading can help you relax, as well as distract you from thinking about your homesickness. Instead of thinking about home, concentrate on the adventures the characters are going through, and make use of this time to make progress in your book!
Ask if you can turn on the TV if you still can't fall asleep.If there is a TV in the room that you’re sleeping in, ask the other kids in the room if you can turn it on. If they are comfortable with it, try to distract yourself by watching entertaining shows or movies on TV.
- Keep the volume very low so that you don’t wake up anyone in the house.
Listen to calming music if you have a phone or music player.If you brought a phone, iPod, or iPad, as well as earphones, try listening to soothing music, such as a soft song or nature sounds. This might help you relax and fall asleep.
- Don’t forget to put on earphones in order not to bother anyone.
Think about what you're going to do the next day.If you cannot fall asleep despite your efforts, lie down in bed and reflect on the next day instead. Plan your day and get excited. Don’t forget that the morning will arrive soon!
Call your parents if you can’t get over your homesickness.If you have a phone with you, call your parents to say goodnight. Hearing their voice might give you reassurance, and their advice may make you feel safe.
- When your parents pick up, tell them, “I just wanted to call and say goodnight, since this is my first night away from home,” or “I felt a bit homesick and wanted to hear your voice.”
- If you can’t bear the homesickness, you can wake up your parents or your friend’s parents anytime, but it’s best to talk to them before they go to sleep. Otherwise, you might feel bad for alarming people in the middle of the night.
Ask your parents to pick you up if you really can’t stay at the sleepover.After trying different methods, if you still feel sad or uncomfortable sleeping at your friend’s house, call home and ask your parents or guardians if they can pick you up. Don’t blame yourself; you may not be quite ready for a sleepover yet, and that is okay.
- Make sure you talk to your friend’s parents first, and let them know the situation.
- If you don’t have a phone, ask your friend’s parents to call your family to pick you up.
Bringing Comforts with You
Bring comforts like a pillow, blanket, or stuffed animal from home.Pack a backpack with everything you need, and make sure to add in a few things that will make you feel at home. It can be your pillow or blanket to help you feel as though you are in your own bed. It can also be your favorite stuffed animal, doll, or lucky charm to make you feel safe and at ease.
Take comfortable clothes with you to sleep in.Feeling comfortable in what you’re wearing is important, especially when you’re at someone else’s house, and can help you feel as relaxed as you are at home. Remember to bring a pair of pajamas or nightclothes you’re comfortable wearing around other people that you may not know.
- Something that has tops and bottoms is a safe bet. You can also bring a robe.
- If you’re shy about getting dressed in front of your friends, ask to use the bathroom and change there.
Bring a book or iPod in case you need to pass the time.You might not be able to fall asleep because you miss home, so take a book or an iPod with you. If you enjoy magazines instead, take them. You should have a few things that will keep you entertained to battle homesickness during the sleepover.
Pack enough so you don't have to borrow anything.Although it is totally okay to borrow clothes or hygiene materials by asking your friend or their parents, it’s always nice to be prepared and bring your own stuff. This will prevent you from missing your belongings since the essential ones will be with you.
- If you’re staying over for more than one night, bring enough changes of clothes and underwear.
- If you’ll need to shower, bring your shampoo and conditioner.
- Don’t forget your toothbrush and toothpaste!
Spend time with your friends during a sleepover party.Remember that you’re here to have a good time with your friends. If there are a lot of kids, you might feel out of place at first, but remember why you came, and join your friends in whatever they are doing!
Suggest playing games or doing your hair together.If your friends are not doing anything or just playing with their phones, suggest playing a game together, like charades, card games, or a board game. You could also do your hair together or watch a movie.
- Being alone or not doing anything fun can make you more homesick, so try busying yourself with activities while bonding with your friends!
Keep an open mind.Every house runs a little differently, and your friend’s routine may be different than yours, which might make you miss home even more. In your friend’s house, there can be chores before bedtime, helping with siblings in the morning before school, or going to the church. Even if some of these might be new to you, try to go with the flow and follow your friend’s example, instead of comparing it with your family’s routine.
Remember that you’ll be home soon!Try to forget that you’re in a different place and that your family isn’t there. Imagine they are in the next room. Close your eyes and envision yourself lying on your bed and not on someone else’s.
- Don’t forget that you’re at the sleepover to have a good time, and your home is not going anywhere!
Ask your parents to speak to your friend’s parents before the next sleepover.Next time you’re invited to a sleepover, let your parents and your friend’s parents know that you are new to sleepovers and may not make it through the night. This will give them a chance to coordinate a plan in case you get homesick.
- You shouldn't hide this or lie about it—parents are often understanding since many kids get homesick, and they can help you with it. Knowing you aren't stuck and that there is a Plan B should help you relax.
- If you feel comfortable, you can talk to your friend’s parents yourself instead.
- This way, your friend’s parents will also know to look out for you, and may even ask if you'd like to go home before everyone turns in for bed. It's better to tell them upfront than to wake the whole house to leave at 3 am.
QuestionWill this work at a family member's house?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, most of these methods should apply to sleeping over at a family member's house as well. You might not have friends there but try to spend time with people who are your age, if there are any. Otherwise, pack more personal items to keep you busy, such as a few books, an iPod or laptop, and a couple of toys. You might have more free time, so try to do things you enjoy, while respecting the routine and rules at the house that you're staying in.Thanks!
QuestionWhy am I so scared to spend the night?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is totally okay to get scared when you're spending the night at a new place; after all, you've spent all of your nights in your own house and this is something completely new to you. Just make sure to calm down, spend time with your friends, focus on your hobbies, and distract yourself. If you still get scared, ask to call your parents and talk to them over the phone before you go to bed.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if you don't want to tell anyone that you're homesick?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAlthough there is nothing embarrassing about being homesick, it's okay to want to keep it to yourself. Instead, do things on your own to get yourself sleepy, like reading or trying relaxation techniques while lying in bed. If other people are awake, you can chat with them about other things and distract yourself. Once you're tired, you'll be more likely to fall asleep easily.Thanks!
QuestionHow do you fall asleep when your friends are already asleep?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIn this case you can focus on breathing exercises and distracting yourself from negative thoughts. Lie down and close your eyes, and count your breaths until you get more relaxed and sleepy. You can also try focusing on a image in your mind. If you can't relax, try passing the time by reading, listening to music, or watching TV if these are available. Make sure to do these quietly not to wake anyone up.Thanks!
QuestionShould you have play dates before a sleepover to get used to the environment?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, that's a great way to get to know the other kids and also feel comfortable at a new place without the pressure of sleeping there. Invite your friends over to your house for a sleepover, or spend an evening at theirs but have your parents pick you up before bedtime. As you get to know your friend's parents and the other kids there, you'll feel more at ease and might want to sleep over next time!Thanks!
- Focus on having fun at the sleepover instead of thinking of your home, pets, siblings, or parents.
- Bring clothes, a book or two, and other necessities. Don't bring a lot of toys.
- It helps if you think of yourself as a hero doing a mission. Once you finish the sleepover, you’ll reach your goal!
- Make sure you are at a sleepover with good friends who can support you if you do get really bad homesickness.
- If you are a kid and you miss your mom then bring a teddy bear with your mom's clothes on it or spray her perfume on it.
- Make sure to bring a phone and charger so you can call your parents at night.
- Don't lie about being sick or some other emergency to go home. Always be honest.
- Don't misbehave even if you’re homesick and want to go home. Talk to your friend’s parents calmly and honestly, and ask if they can help.
- Don't leave and walk home without telling someone.
Things You'll Need
A pillow, blanket, stuffed animal, or doll from home that will make you feel better.
Video: How To Stop Being Homesick!
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