Are you an emigrant and do you feel nostalgic for your country? Don’t you know how to leave this migrant syndrome behind? Discover how to overcome the nostalgia to emigrate and enjoy your new home.
Thousands of people emigrate each year from their countries of origin to destinations that promise improvements in their lives and that of their families. The stories that are heard in their countries about those who went looking for new opportunities and found them encourage others to follow them. However, they rarely speak of a very common syndrome: homesickness for the emigrant.
What is the nostalgia of the emigrant?
The first moments after the arrival to the new country by the emigrants are of euphoria, of new sensations, but it can turn into a process of mourning since you have lost something, you are far from yours. Last comes nostalgia. According to psychologists, there is nostalgia for the emigrant, and it can also cause severe psychological disorders.
This disease related to living abroad was first described by a Swiss doctor, Johann Höfer, in the 17th century, who had supervised a group of soldiers who, thinking all day about their land, manifested signs of depression and other symptoms such as insomnia, loss of appetite, hyperventilation, anxiety, and even fever. As soon as the soldiers returned home the symptoms disappeared.
Few are those who doubt that working abroad will improve the family economy, professional development, social status and their family. But it is important to think about the psychological effects of emigration. Even non-resident students can experience this discomfort. Some have more strength to get used to the new situation, but many give up and go home.
How does it affect emigration?
Below we highlight the most common aspects involved in the person emigrating:
1. Social impact
In many cases, going to live in another country, when it is not motivated by an economic need, generates ruptures in the family that inevitably disintegrate. The change of country of the emigrants also implies the separation with the friends, changes of occupation, lifestyle, etc. In the case of having to learn a new language, the emigrant must accept changes that frequently cause psychological stress. These problems can lead to mental disorders in vulnerable people over time. Problems will inevitably always reverberate in the family.
2. Language impact
For those who go abroad to learn a new language, communication is not immediate. In addition to the stress of having to speak in a foreign language, even the non-verbal communication is different, the way of joking, or stereotypes about foreign accents can contribute to exacerbate the feeling of unease for emigrants.
3. Cultural impact
Habits, lifestyle, schedules, politics, or religion. For those who emigrate, everything is new and everything is different. Comparing what your daily life was and is can lead to failure in the purpose for getting used to the new stage. The culture is so pervasive that it pushes the emigrant to search for what is closest to what he knows as his own, with the risk of self-segregation.
4. Environmental impact
For those who move from a colder country to a warmer one or vice versa, the climate can be a derogatory factor for the discomfort of the migrant.
5. Psychological impact
Among the most important psychological factors for migrants is psychosocial stress, which is motivated by wanting to make a quick adaptation to the new country, in order to begin to function in the host society. The emigrant who does not have friends to lean on during this period and has low self-esteem, will be more vulnerable to suffering from mental illness. The self-esteem, the fear of failure, of feeling different … all these thoughts can lead the person to increase their discomfort, and can lead to a depression or anxiety crisis, for example.
6. Mental disorders
The mental illnesses that can affect migrants and their families are numerous: depressive and anxiety disorders;phobias, somatization, drugs, family violence; Psychotic episodes and even schizophrenia have been described in migrant populations.
To be strengthened in this new stage, it is important to have the support of loved ones, and if it is necessary to go to the services of a therapist who knows how to guide in the best way.
How to avoid the nostalgia of the emigrant?
Although going to live in another country may seem like an exciting situation, the reality is that many emigrants end up feeling nostalgic for their city. In many cases, those who emigrate can avoid it by following the tips below.
1. Learn about the new country
Before starting the preparations for the march: try to learn the language, know the customs, the bureaucracy and the type of Health that is there. Do not forget to review the rights and obligations of foreigners in the destination country. When you are in a place trying to read the newspaper in the host country, ask the people there for information about the culture and customs, it will help you feel closer to them.
2. Keep connecting with family and friends
Many times people who emigrate end up leaving behind everything related to their old country, even their closest loved ones. To avoid this, involve your family and friends in the preparation of everything before you leave and be sure to have a goodbye party to celebrate the event.
3. Prepare to feel lonely
Think and understand that you are going to miss the people who remain at the origin. If you prepare, the impact will be less harsh. Loneliness it is a process that all emigrants go through if they are going to live abroad alone.
4. Bring small objects that comfort and encourage you
Those things that make you feel at home, or even details that decorate your room. All this will help you to pass the procedure in an easier way.
5. Learn the language
Once you arrive at the destination, try to register as soon as possible for a language course or other group activities. Making friends will help you overcome the homesickness of the migrant.
6. Count both the good and the bad
When talking on the phone with your family and friends, focus on explaining things to them positive that they are living and discovering, and don’t just tell them the things you miss.
7. Don’t anchor yourself to your old country
If you have emigrated with the intention of working abroad forever, it is not good to anchor too much to your old country. Going home from time to time is good, but it is not so good if you do it too often: it will prevent you from focusing on this new stage, and you will also multiply the goodbyes.
8. Be flexible
Things are not always what one expects. If you are open to something going wrong, the obstacles will be overcome with less effort.
9. Don’t forget to pamper yourself
From time to time do things you liked to do at home, such as watch a movie in your mother tongue, prepare the food that you make on Sundays for your friends in the new destination, even with compatriots, to feel that you are experiencing a mutual exchange of customs and traditions.
10. Talk about your nostalgia
Do not pay any more attention to nostalgia, to emigrate, but talk about it with your partner or with your friends. If you hide that feeling, you can feel yourself at the same time frustrated.
11. Make a list of all the things you have left behind
The ones that you are glad to have left and those that you miss, but also with the positive things that you have found in the destination where you have emigrated.
These may be some of the tips you can do to overcome the nostalgia to emigrate. Going to live in another country can be a most fascinating experience.