Immigration Stress

Immigration is a very stressful experience. Each immigrant will experience the stress in a different way – for some the stress will be more and for some much less. 

Some of the following factors could contribute to your stress level:

  • You have close family relationships, and have to leave them ‘at home.
  • You can not speak one of the official languages, which are English and French.
  • You have a high standard of living at the time you decide to immigrate, and you might have to restrict your expenditure(while getting back on your feet in the new country).
  • You have very specific skills that are not in big demand in Canada. It might take some time to find a job in that profession. While waiting for that opportunity you might have to work in another profession, or even decide that it is best to change your career path altogether.
  • Extra studies might be required to get professional recognition in Canada in your career.

Each person’s situation is unique and each person’s response to stress will be different. However, when you follow certain general rules, your stress level will be considerably less. See your plan to immigrate as a huge, new project. Consider the ‘project’ period and go from there. Well planned projects minimise stress. 

The following are some basic stress relieving rules:

  • Plan ahead, phase by phase (who, what, when, where, how).
  • Work with a budget.
  • Take language lessons before coming to Canada (it is possible to complete some locally).
  • Set realistic goals (most new projects start from the bottom and time is everything – give yourself time). If your goals are too high, it will make you miserable if you fail to make the deadline.
  • Make friends to give advice.
  • Immigrants from your own country could easily point out differences between your country and Canada; and Canadian friends will show you the rich culture and ways of Canada.
  • Get professional help if stress gets the better of you.
  • The immigration process starts the day when you decide to immigrate. Look out for signs of stress. It should be monitored and if recognized, half the battle is won. 
  • Immediately deal with the issue (change what you can; and accept what you can not change). Talk to other immigrants and you will soon realize that most of them were in the same situations. This could also be a stress reliever.
  • Try to look forward to the ‘new’ and not to the ‘familiar’. You will find many wonderful things in your new country, but it will never be “the same”. Always remember the reason why you decided to immigrate in the first place.
  • Get your e-mail and Skype set up and running as soon as possible, and you will soon realize just how small the world is. This will be your cheap ‘life-line’ to family and friends right over the world. Many phones can now also call with videa that allows you to see one another face to face, for example: Watsapp or Facetime.

Tip: Do not say things in your own language, when you do not want the people around you to understand. You will be surprised who might understand you. You might just find your old school buddy’s sister next to you in the grocery store…