Just shut your eyes.
Updated: Jan 31
I distinctly remember years ago when I laid down in a sleeping bag in my friend's basement one night, I shut my eyes and imagined I were somewhere else. Mostly because the floor was cold, and I was slightly uncomfortable. And I wasn't imagining I was far away, nor imagining something completely unrealistic. I was actually imagining I were somewhere that'd only take about 5 minutes by car to reach. I imagined I were laying in my own bed at home.
This was years ago, and whenever I'm feeling homesick in a bed far from home now, I simply shut my eyes and imagine I'm back in my bed. And suddenly whatever feeling of discomfort I have, goes away.
When we spend our whole lives growing up sleeping in the same bed, waking up to the same colored walls and colored sheets, that becomes our home.
We think that moving away means we're moving away from home, our comfort, our warm sheets and everything in between.
But what I came to realize, is that we don't need those same sheets, same walls, that same bed. A bed is a bed. It wasn't the bed I was missing when I laid down on my friend's basement floor. Yes, I would've loved a mattress instead of a little carpeting and a cold sleeping bag, but that's not the point.
My bed became a symbol of home- a feeling of comfort. That whenever I would leave or sleep somewhere else, I knew there is really nothing better than sleeping in my own bed.
But to say that sounds a little ridiculous, because a bed is just a bed right?
Think about it- we spend a lot of our lives sleeping. Sometimes we end up on the couch, an air mattress, in a chair, on the floor. But otherwise, when the sun goes down and it gets too late to stay up we find ourselves sleeping in a bed, hopefully anyway.
Even when I was younger I'd always prefer a sleepover at my own house than at my friend's. Something about sleeping in my own bed just made me happier. But since being older and sleeping in beds all over Europe, Israel and the US, you have to accept that your bed is always going to be changing.
You won't always be resting your head on the same pillow, cuddling up in the same comforter or waking up to the same colored walls.
But the difference here is the feeling you have. I find it amazing how we can still feel comfortable knowing we are hundreds, or even thousands of miles away from home, and be okay with sleeping in a different bed.
This little trick I used as a young girl really stuck with me up until now. And it made me realize even more about how important our mindset is when we're dealing with homesickness, stress, etc.
We don't always watch TV, movies or read books to be entertained. Sometimes we simply want to be somewhere else. But there is a comfort in knowing that wherever you lay, that is your home for the time being. And that yes, a bed is temporary and you can always shut your eyes and imagine you're somewhere else, back in your childhood bedroom, or wherever your home base may be.
Whenever I shut my eyes and imagine I'm back in my childhood bed, I'm not thinking about how cozy the sheets are or the pillows resting behind my head. I'm thinking about the feeling of being home, my dog jumping in bed to wake me up in the morning, the clicking sound my lamp makes when I shut it off. The little things that I will always be used to.
It's the feeling I get knowing that that bed will be there when I come home.
But it was never really about the bed, it was always about the feeling. Because no matter how far away we are from home, it's nice to know there is always a place to return to. And even if there's not, it's also nice to know that we can turn any bed we sleep in, into that feeling of home.
Because it's not always the bed itself that's comfortable- it's the feeling.