Managing Cultural Transitions
How have you managed stressful events and transitions in the past?
Everyone has different ways of managing stress. Experiencing discomfort and stress during the cultural adaptation process is a normal part of the process. Taking some time to think about strategies in how you can manage this process now can ease the transition later on.
1. Immersion: What are your interests? What parts of the new culture do you want to explore and immerse yourself into? Language, Art, Architecture, Food, Sports, etc.?
2. Escape: There will come that moment when you’ve had enough of the host culture, the new language, feeling lost and overwhelmed. What are some ways you can manage this and pull out for a bit from the culture to rejuvenate and re-energize? Perhaps a trip away, finding a good book in your native language, seeing a film, going for a walk – anything that provides an emotional and/or physical distance from the culture for a moment.
3. Maintaining: When everything around you appears to be changing, new and different, what will remain the same for you? What is a constant? What are some of your favorite things to do? What about individual and family rituals you would like to continue, regardless of the ‘where’ in your life? What continues regardless of all that has changed?
4. Stress Management: We have all experienced stress at one time or another in our life. How do you manage stress and discomfort? Exercise, talking to friends, writing, yoga, meditation? Keep in mind the ability/availability to practices these stress management techniques in your new host country.
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