Credit: Image by Betti Cohen-Kowalski from Pixabay

The following video was inspired by an email sent from one of my readers who read my article that appeared in the “Canadian Newcomers” Newspaper on April 16, 2018 Volume 1 – Issue 1. Hence I am including the article in this blog so you can have a better understanding of what I wrote then, and what was the reader referring to. Watch the video here:

Migration Stress on Women. How Do You Cope with Stress?

I can remember the first few months of being in Canada as if it happened yesterday and I have been in the country for twenty-four years. The feelings of being miles and miles away, not sleeping properly, at times crying silently and at other times crying vigorously because you can no longer hold your tears, the anxiety that arises every time the phone rings, the fear of something happening to your parents or a family member when you are far away, the longing for a hug and kiss from a loved one, the worry of not being able to make it in the new country that you just moved to, and the frustration of dealing with a culture that is totally different and possibly contradicts the one that you were raised in accompanying you in the first few months of resettlement. All these thoughts and feelings that rush into your mind, body, and heart every time you remember the isolation and separation from your loved ones are valid and most newcomer women experience them intensely early in the resettlement process, especially if they migrate at an older age. As if this is not enough, some of you are left to deal with these thoughts and emotions alone since your husbands must return home because they can’t leave their current jobs. Add to that the pressure of raising children alone and dealing with the daily stressors of life in a new country.

If the above describes your experience, then you are not alone and let me assure you that the intensity of those feelings is lessened over time, but you need to take few steps to make it less painful and to ease your transition in Canada. Now imagine that you have a plant that you transferred to a new pot and a new soil. This plant may wilt quickly if you do not take good care of it by watering it consistently and exposing it to the right amount of light. The same is true for you. You just left your roots and the country you grew up in to be planted in new soil, a new environment, new weather conditions, and new cultural and social norms so give yourself a break and take it easy.

The first step to dealing with those thoughts and feelings is self-awareness and self-reflection to recognize your coping mechanism? So, how are you dealing with it all? Are you suffering silently because you do not want to bother your family and show your weakness? Are you feeling down and lose your temper easily? Or are you adopting negative behaviours such as smoking, excessive shopping or eating junk food? Write down in a journal your thoughts and thoughts and feelings and what triggers them. Rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being least intense and 10 is the most intense daily for the next three weeks. More importantly, make an appointment with your family physician to rule out any medical condition and join us next time for more tips on dealing with the immigration stress.

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