Living in a different country can certainly cause a great deal of stress on an individual. I have definitely experienced this in the last two months! Everything can be so overwhelming at times. Also, there’s no possible way to fully prepare yourself ahead of time for what you might experience. That being said, typically my first response to stress like this is to shut down and try to block out the stressor. However, when you are drowning in stress and anxiety, what do you do?
Sure, some people will tell you to take a deep breath or count to 10, but is this really helpful? For a worrier like me, not so much! The last two months have been the best of times for me and the worst of times. I’ve learned an incredible amount about myself that I don’t know I would’ve found in the absence of this opportunity. I’ve certainly grown as a person and taken the time to reevaluate my coping skills!
It definitely took some getting used to, but now I try to destress by being go-with-the-flow in most situations. If you know me, that is literally the opposite of who I am! I like to plan everything down to the tiniest detail. With that being said, it’s definitely been really hard for me to relinquish control of my circumstances. At this point I try not to worry about the little things anymore. I’ve also found it very constructive to speak to others that might be experiencing the same feelings and situations. It’s good to get someone else’s perspective on the situation and because of this, I feel like I’ve finally gained the ability to look at the big picture.
Instead of blocking out the stressor, now I just invite it and deal with it in the moment. The saying “Fake it ’til you make it” is definitely some advice that I have been living by in Amman! As long as you appear confident, things typically work out in some way. However, I will say when I’ve been around Arabic all day, it is extremely nice to go back to my apartment and destress with YouTube or Netflix in English.
Bottom line: everyone deals with stress and anxiety in their own way and its totally okay to feel overwhelmed. My mom always tells me to remain positive and to remember that the feeling is only temporary! This perspective has helped me time and time again. Hopefully it can be of help to you too!