16 Aug 2015

Getting through unsettling times

Are you feeling unsettled? It may be that you are unsettled as an immigrant or are going through an unsettled stage of life. This blog will look at ways to help with those feelings of being unsettled, whether they are because you are a migrant or because you are unsettled in life.

As a migrant feeling unsettled, you could consider:
  1. What motivated you to emigrate in the first place? Are those reasons still valid? If they are, then by reminding yourself you are in the right place, you can allow yourself to feel more settled.
  2. Perhaps your reason for migrating has been fulfilled, for example, you wanted better opportunities for your children and it is the next challenge you are facing that is making you feel unsettled as an immigrant. This could be that as you see your children pick up the host countries’ mannerisms, language, accents, and attitudes, you wonder how you can introduce some of your culture to them. Perhaps through your homeland’s food, festivals, and visits to your homeland.
  3. Try to identify, what it is exactly that is unsettling you? Think of all the things that are not right. Which is the biggest? How can you deal with that? Is it a sick parent, lack of friends, being surrounded by unfamiliarity? What can you do to change this?

  4. Are you looking at your homeland with rose coloured spectacles? Comparison can be the killer of joy. Perhaps you need to give your life more attention.Water your side of the fence. I like the quote that the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence, it is your grass needs more watering. Rather than comparing homeland life and adopted country life, put energy into the life you have in your adopted country.
  5. Do a SWOT analysis of your situation. Look at the Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats of your life at the moment.
  6. My book discusses The Settling Process in Chapter 7, offering immigrants’ experiences and strategies to get through the challenge of settling in a new home.

Perhaps you are feeling unsettled because you are going through an unsettled stage of life. Kim Vazquez suggests unsettled is the new normal in her blog,  “There is a reason you are feeling unsettled right now.” . To help deal with this unsettled feeling, she passes on the suggests you,
Picture your feet on two independently moving pieces of solid ground, I was told. (The visual was two tectonic plates moving side by side during the ground shift that causes an earthquake.)
Rather than lock your knees in place, bend your knees, allowing each piece of ground to move freely, rocking back and forth, or side to side gently, as necessary to be in flow.
(I can still see the visual and it looks like I’m ground surfing. Smile.)”
Perhaps with changing technology and exposure to a global world, ground surfing is the new norm, however there are times when it is less comfortable than others, this could be the unsettled feelings, times when ground surfing along the lava of life becomes bumpy. What else can we do to make our ride easier?
The suggestions above can apply to ‘unsettled in life’ feelings, especially SWOT analysis, over-comparing, considering what motivated us to be where we are and trying to pin point the biggest unsettling factor. However, as I knew all of these and through recent deaths of people close enough to me to stir up my life and emotions I would like to offer a few quotes and websites that I have found helpful.

To change your life you have to change yourself. To change yourself you have to change your mindset.  Wilson Kanadi

And the websites:

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