New Immigrants – Ways Of Coping Up With Stress

Immigration in the U.S.

Immigration in the U.S.

Immigration in the U.S. is something that so many people from other countries are dreaming to achieve. If successful, an immigrant could have the chance to change his or her life for the better and can fulfill the dreams of having a more comfortable life. However, immigration can also be stressful to new immigrants because there are always the hassles in adapting to new environments, culture and to people. Especially on the first few months this is a crucial time that needs serious adjustment on the part of the immigrants specifically to families. In fact, immigration is considered a major changing event that can trigger stress, anxieties, fear of being rejected and can push those who cannot be able to cope up easily to rely on alcohol, tobacco or even drugs just to feel relaxed.

The most affected among new immigrants with immigration stress are the children who come with their parents in a new country. Especially children ages 7-10 and coming from developing countries, usually the language barrier makes it hard for them to communicate which build gap to other children in their schools.  They typically find it hard to establish friendship and camaraderie with other kids and usually prefer to stay with their parents or siblings just to feel the belongingness and support they need.

However, this can only last for few months and with counseling and parents’ support, kids of new immigrants can still adapt. On the contrary, if parents and teachers would not give advice and assistance, these kids can build in themselves loneliness, depression and even losing the interest to go to school. In many studies conducted among kids of new immigrants, researchers find out that kids of new immigrants usually find companionship among kids who they think have the same cultural backgrounds like them. For example, school kids from Asia would normally mingle with other Asian kids while leaving the idea of getting friends with white kids. This is where the teachers should help.

On the other hand, parents who are new immigrants also experience immigration stress.  Basically once they get into a new country they will feel that they are not already inside their comfort zones. Doubts can become nightmares for some of them. They would initially feel the hard times adjusting to the culture of the people and most of the times they feel disgraced when they can only find menial jobs that are way out of their professional qualifications. Worst, when too many negative things come their way, homesickness can sink in.

Homesickness is one of the most stressful events that can be experienced by new immigrants even some of them come with their families. This is one thing that new immigrants generally feel but must be coped up especially if they feel they will be away from their loved ones and friends back home for very long time.  In so much of these unavoidable experiences, new immigrants can still find many practical means to cope up. Here’s how.

Coping Ways for New Immigrants

    • Joining social network. There are clinical studies that prove new immigrants can easily get rid of homesickness by joining online social networking sites such as Facebook. With constant communication like chat, this can immunize them from feeling alone and left out and therefore takes them away much of the stress and loneliness from their system. Communication gadgets, thus, are very essential like webcams, headsets or even cell phones. Texting abroad is now also easier and cheaper. Email is also a quick communication system while other emailing systems like Gmail have video chatting capabilities. The most popular chatting system right now is actually Skype and Yahoo Messenger.
    • Joining recreational settings like gyms, health clubs or sports clubs. Health club venues could help new immigrants establish friendships with many kinds of people. They can also find true friends with church organizations or ethnic groups on which they belong. If they want some to help provide services they can also join community service organizations. Kids, on the other hand, can join school organizations or enroll in sports clubs. This can eliminate the feeling of struggle within themselves and instead providing them the sense of belongingness. They can also join groups whose members hail from their countries. This is the easiest way to find friends once an immigrant lives on a foreign land.
    • Accepting the fact that immigrants must undergo the adjustment stage. If new immigrants can readily acknowledge that they need to adjust, they can go beyond becoming stressed out and depressed. By accepting the truth that they are not already in their home countries and must learn to cope up, every issue that comes their way can become lessons to be learned.
    • New immigrants should not feel different or inferior in any way. Most adolescent new immigrants have the problem of joining young people’s groups for the reason that they feel different and are not yet ready to mingle. However, in countries like America, race or color of the skin is not basically an issue. In most American schools today, there are a lot of kids that come from various race and cultural backgrounds and yet they generally feel equal with other kids. This concept must be remembered by young new immigrants. Though, this feeling would likely pass, young people who belong to new immigrants should be proud of their race and backgrounds.
    • Accepting that small failures are part of all immigrants’ life. There are a lot of new immigrants who easily feel down and depressed when they can’t easily achieve their goals like finding well-paid jobs. However, immigrants should realize that failures are just part of everyone’s struggles. So if an immigrant fail, just like everybody else must try again until he succeed. Especially in finding jobs, immigrants who are professionals in their homelands may not easily find jobs that they highly expect. It is therefore needed to take on jobs that are lesser in class but once their qualities are acknowledged, that’s their chances to move forward.

Immigrants especially new immigrants will normally feel bewildered and lonely once they live in other people’s lands. Even though they come to countries already with their relatives there, feeling the stress and the distance will surely make them feel sad and away but this is just common. In essence, we are all gifted with great sense of adaptation and in the long run, adjustment can be just as easy in any situation.