keskiviikko 15. helmikuuta 2017

Le Culture Shock

To be honest, I have never really considered culture shock as a thing that could happen to me. That's how all mighty I see myself! Still, it happened to me in Japan and I have finally admitted that I am dealing with it right now. More specifically the second stage. It goes by many names: the crisis, negotiation, frustration etc. all which describe very well my feelings right now. 

The stage before the crisis is called 'honeymoon' and you just basically enjoy all the new experiences and everything seems great. Little by little you realize anyway that you didn't come here to be on a vacation and things start to feel less exciting. The crisis stage kicks in when we are dealing with big or small challenges on a daily basis. On the long term this just gets tiring and we start to reject the host culture. Our perception of our surroundings is negative and we tend to compare things all the time to how they were back at home. It's common to feel frustrated, anxious, hostile, home sick and stressed. In this stage the expat often prefers isolation and being alone. 

If you have been reading my recent posts, it is actually quite obvious what I am suffering from. I was just so oblivious to it, as always. The good news is that this melancholy I have been experiencing is completely normal. This is just part of the process and there are other, better stages, to come. Since I'm dealing with a lot of anxiety and stress right now, I have made it a priority to take as good care of myself as possible. I have finally stopped smoking, started regular exercise and remarkably improved my diet. I stop expecting things to happen right now and accept the fact that things take time and it's okay. 

I'm so guilty of perfectionism that I just end up pressuring myself until I'm totally burnt out. If I cannot speak perfect french, have a great job and lots of friends right now, I can at least build confidence meanwhile by starting to show some love for myself.

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