The Feeling of Loneliness in a New Culture

The only permanent thing in life is change. So instead of running away from it lets embrace it wholeheartedly.

A change can leave a sizeable positive or negative impact on one’s mental and physical well-being. One of the primary changes that one can experience is the process of shifting to a new country. Such a change entails a repository of challenges, adjustments, and experiences that one has to cope with. Formulating necessary strategies and healthy coping styles can help one overcome these issues.

One of the exceeding challenges faced during such a shift in culture and lifestyle is the feeling of loneliness. Loneliness is a subjective feeling of being alone, inability to find meaning in one’s life, and a feeling of disconnectedness or isolation. Some of the most common reasons for this feeling are as follows :

1. Homesickness- It is a feeling that is experienced as a reaction to the absence of familiar people or surroundings. This feeling can lead to loneliness, feelings of sadness, and difficulties in the adjustment process altogether. This can cause depression, anger, fear, etc which can adversely affect one’s lifestyle and academic performances.

2. Communication- This can be a great contributing cause to the feeling of loneliness. Communication difficulties can be a result of language barriers, difficultly understanding slang or accents, and feeling bashful.

3. Socio-Cultural Differences- Every country has its own rich culture that makes it unique in its way. This entails cultural knowledge, social skills, language proficiency, and new norms of society. Lack of awareness of this can make the transitional process difficult in the new host country.

4. Forming New Social Relationships- The feeling of loneliness can be heightened due to the inability to form new social relationships. One can encounter it due to lack of intercultural knowledge, introverted behavior, fear of rejection, a feeling of homesickness, etc.

5. Financial Restraints- It is one of the most common barriers that is faced when one is in a new host country. To meet one’s financial needs in Australia, one has to work for 20 hours a week while studying and working full time in breaks. This is in addition to attending the university and taking out time to do other essential activities. This barrier leaves less time for one to indulge in new social activities that indirectly contributes to the feeling of loneliness.

Few tips that can help you overcome this barrier of loneliness are :

Go out and keep yourself busy.

Work on your time-management skills.

Bring home comforts to the new country.

Keep a balanced level of touch with home.

Don’t compare yourself to others.

Seeking therapy during this period of adjustment and change is not an abashment but a greater step towards self-care.

Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.

About MindTribe.in.

MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.

About the Author.

Sonali Mago is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.

Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.

 

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