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Helpful Tips for Expat Well-being

Helpful Tips for Expat Well-being

Among the stress of life, relocation ranks third in force. Moving is stressful and entails hard work. Dealing with your house, securing a new housing in a different location, packing and transporting and the never-ending job of settling in can often take its toll on people.

It’s hard if you do it in your own country; imagine having other culture, language, tradition etc. factors as well to keep on mind. People moving to a different country can expect almost all to be entirely new and nearly all aspect of common life and family life alters such as schools, daily routines, friendships, community associations and even physical landscape. The following tips are recommended to help you overcome the common challenges of relocation. And remember, don’t be ashamed of being homesick – everyone is at some point.

Collect local information, be well organized
Collecting different information about any country can be quite easy having publications, press and websites to choose from. Also, asking local people where the best sources of local information are is a good idea. Relocation disrupts the customary routines that give our lives structure, so it may help to quickly re-establish routines that provide a sense of order and structure. It might be a good idea to find someone (through Facebook, Meetup e.g.) from the new country to tell you more about their country’s culture, language, religions, beliefs etc. Also this site can help you with all the necessary input you need to know, before your trip and as soon as you arrive.

Make new friendships
Try to have diversity in your group of new friends. Local friends, friends from your country or the ones who speak your language as well as other expats are a good start. Your inner circle of friends is there to give you moral support. Don’t play safe and don’t always hang out with familiar bunch of people. Seek out the company of others if you’re feeling lonely. It is also important that you stay connected with friends. With the technology today, that is not difficult to do.

Keep it busy
Do the things you love. You’ll be more likely to overcome any feeling of homesickness if you keep your mind busy doing the activities you like doing the most. You could engage in simple stuff like taking a leisurely stroll in the park, playing sports, reading books, or engaging in any activity that you have passion for and would love to pursue. Also by creating new routines in the new country you will create memories and enjoy new experiences.

Expect it to be challenging
Be aware of the existence of the cultural adjustment process. Remember that you are alone in your experience, that everyone feels down sometimes in a foreign county. A world-renowned anthropologist Kalervo Oberg (1901–1973) applied the term culture shock to all people who travel abroad into new cultures. Every person reacts differently in a new environment. However, Oberg observed in his research that in most cases the process of adjustment to the new cultural environments evolves through four phases: honeymoon phase (about 3-6 months), negotiation phase (6-12 months), adjustment phase (about 2 years) and mastery phase (about 4 years). (For more information see Oberg K.: Cultural shock: adjustment to new cultural environments. Pract Anthropol 1960; 7:177-182)

Be tolerant and open-minded. Think positively!
Your own or your native country's way of doing things is not inherently superior. Effectively adapting to another cultural environment requires an ability to interact with, or live closely to, people who may have fundamentally different habits and lifestyles from your own. This also means withstanding living conditions and surroundings that are different from or less comfortable than one is accustomed.

Relaxation time
Once you have settled in to the regular activities of your new life , you will begin to think about how to enjoy your leisure time in your new home. Sometimes it's nice to go out for a change of atmosphere and to socialize. There are a good number of recreation and sports activities available that will appeal to various types of persons. Daily physical activity is recommended, along with some form of relaxation therapy such as spa & wellness treatments, yoga, meditation, or massage.

Join a group or network, take a class
These clubs, groups can come in the form of professional associations, alumni clubs, leisure activities, or volunteering; anything that can help you develop a social network.

Finally, discover yourself in new environment, you might get pleasantly surprised!

(This text was adapted from http://www.expatserbi...)

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Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Helpful Tips for Expat Well-being November 19, 2011 2:49 PM anonymous
About The Lille International Circle & Expat Club September 12, 2012 9:27 PM anonymous

Lille, France

Founded Jun 3, 2007


Sven Franck, Marcus Denker

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