Moving into a different country is thriving, adventurous and exciting at first. But some of us struggle after a while, because we lose or have limited reach to our fundamental resources and understand the depth of living in a different culture. You might feel like an alien, a lonely soul in the crowds that you understand very little about.
International migration, the increased number of refugees and international transportation opportunities raised the number of people who leave the place they were born, and experience acculturation. Changing the environment, moving out of a comfort zone, or even being forced to move out of the comfort zone can lead to major life differences. These differences can be willingly, or unwillingly happening. If you were not expecting the difficulties you are facing, you might be struggling with the negative outcomes of moving abroad such as loneliness, alienation and lack of support.
When you try to adapt into a new environment, first you recognize the differences in the daily practices of people around you. It might be harder to find the exact taste of your hometown food, or the small talk you do with people around the old neighborhood. Consuming habits usually change from place to place: which can create drastic changes in your fulfilled needs and satisfaction. For example: The shampoo brand that you always use is not available in the new city you live in. So you might be looking for a shampoo and failing to find the effect of the old brand that you loved! Simple obstacles like these can create disappointments while trying to build a whole new life. Maybe you are in a place where there is a different language that you know nothing about! The bureaucratic process is probably different, and may feel harder to you to work with.
To deal with these problems, you can gain tools to help you. When you try to fix something, you get your tools first, right? At this point in your life, you are trying to make things better by changing or creating routines. Here are some tools for you:
Learning the language of the place, if you are unfamiliar, will help you to understand the depth of the people; culture and daily practices. It is easier to feel more connected to the ground when you understand what is written on the billboards, what popular music people listen to are about; what is the current issue in the news and the topics people talk about.
By learning the language, you can start creating conversations with the locals and create bonds and friendships. It might not be the same as you had in your old place, but it will be new and exciting! You will gain so much knowledge and vision by listening to someone who seems super different than you, and also you will find unexpected similarities between each other.
Sometimes we feel like we are stuck in a place where we are unhappy. Even if that’s the case for you, remember that you always have options. Feeling like an outsider is never good for an immigrant /expat /refugee of whichever reason you moved your life into. If you feel helpless and can’t help with the feeling, make sure you get a professional mental health service.
Bağdat Caddesi Psikolog