Coping with Aliyah & Relocation Stress
21 Coping Tips
Aliyah and relocation is a major life decision and it requires a lot of thought and consideration. Your relocation will require you to call a new and unfamiliar place 'home', You will need to become acquainted with your new environment, master a new language, fit into an unknown working environment, be positive and help your young children through their journey, make new friends and build a new support network. What makes it stressful is that you have to do all of these things at the same time. When things get tough new immigrants (olim) sometimes feel that the only way out is to pack up and leave and go back to their countries of origin. Hopefully you are one of those who chooses to stay, but what can you do? Relocation Stress Syndrome or Transfer trauma is a known medical condition. The recent Mental Health Reform makes access to emotional support easier and more affordable. You can get private help too from an English speaking counselor and this may be a better route to take.
It can take a few months before you work through all your issues, but you are also in need of a few practical solutions and alternatives that you can implement right now. No one knows the stresses quite like those who have overcome it. We asked members of our social networks what they do in times of stress. Here are 21 top tips:-
- Avoid unnecessary stress by learning the language. If you do not work hard at this, you are automatically isolating yourself and will miss out on a lot.
- Have realistic expectations. Israel is not, and will never be like your former home.
- Think about and focus on, why you came here in the first place. That puts things into perspective when daily stresses seem overwhelming.
- Find distractions - try not to think about, or get swept up by, your stress. On the other hand - don't ignore it completely.
- Take up a new hobby. Join an art class, learn to paint, adult coloring books are all the rage. Do something creative
- Identify the issues that cause you stress. Once you have, it will be easier to find solutions for each one.
- Share your feelings with others. You are not alone
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- Focus on the positive. Decide to acculturate as much as possible rather than expect Israelis to bend and change for you
- Surround yourself with familiar things:- photographs of family members or treat yourself to something delicious you know from home.
- Take advantage of Home Hospitality programs. There are lots of kind hearted volunteers willing to host you.
- Volunteer to take care of someone less fortunate than yourself and this will help put your life in perspective.
- Join social networks.
- Embrace your fears and anxieties, we all have them and then forge ahead.
- For those that come here for religious and idealistic reasons, it was suggested that you should think of everything you do in Israel, is a mitzvah. This is how it was put "When I shop at the shuk I am helping the merchants fulfill their mitzvah of Yishuv B'Aretz Yisroel. How can there be any difficulty or challenge too big?"
- Reflect. Every few months, sit back and reflect on what you have done. You will be surprised how far you have come.
On the lighter side!
- Drink lots of coffee or whatever!
- Watch lots of cable TV and programs from the 'old-country' and at the same time nosh on Jelly-Bellys, Seers Candy, Cadbury's, Marmite sandwiches and other delicious goodies.
- Go to the beach, a park or a favorite place and just watch other people go by.
- Exercise is a great stress reliever
- Find some comic relief
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