As someone who moved abroad to live, I can empathize with and understand the feelings and impact of Culture Shock. Being a Life Coach I am very interested in how it impacts on our level of happiness. As well as how we can change it in order to feel happy.
Culture shock is a feeling of confusion and uncertainty sometimes with feelings of anxiety or low mood that may affect people. It is caused by being in a place (such as a new city or foreign country) that is very different from what you are used to.
This is quite a normal reaction to living in a new country. Once the excitement and holiday feeling wears off you can be left feeling not so happy. Not having family close by, being without your network of friends, maybe not knowing the language, feeling that many things are different to what you are used to. All these can leave you in Culture shock.
Have you noticed that everyday things seem to take much more energy? Working out public transport, shopping for food, posting a letter, going to the pharmacy, and so many other things become harder and more exhausting and are often compounded by a language barrier.
There are 4 Stages of Culture Shock:
Phase 1- Honeymoon/Tourist phase
Before arriving you have feelings of excitement, anxiety, fear of the unknown, a sense of adventure. There follows a mood upswing on arrival. Then reality sets in, the realities of everyday life, homesickness.
Phase 2- Crisis
As reality sets in there can be a crisis period where you are coping with down feelings.
Phase 3- Improving mood
You begin to cope with and adjust to life in your new country.
Phase 4- Healthy recovery and adjustment
You settle into routines, make friends and a develop a network, enjoy hobbies and activities.
These are the stages of culture shock. Not everyone experiences them, some people move through the phases and settle into their new life. But for many they can be stuck between phases 2 and 3. Many experience feelings of low mood, loneliness, not fitting in, loss of interest in hobbies and activities, unhappiness……
If you are ready to get over this, take a look at my top 10 tips for dealing with culture shock.
The good news is that coaching can help you change these feelings so that you can settle in to and enjoy your new life abroad. firstname.lastname@example.org