When exposed to a new culture without proper preparation, culture shock can be experienced.Maybe you’ve recently traveled to a foreign country, started college, served on a mission trip, or started a new job abroad.It is normal for you to have feelings of confusion, stress or homesickness.You can cope with culture shock by focusing on the positives and adapting to the culture.
Step 1: Define culture shock.
There are many factors that make up a culture.Many people don’t know how culture affects them because they are surrounded by other people who share the same assumptions.You can see the differences when you step outside of your culture.This is a way to understand culture shock.Culture show shows you how different people’s values, morals, beliefs, and traditions are.As you try to adapt to them, there may be internal conflict.You can feel anxiety, confusion, homesickness, anger, sadness, frustration, and sometimes even depression.
Step 2: Write down your thoughts.
Maybe you have just moved to a new city, state or country and are overwhelmed by the culture.Don’t let your anxiety get you down, write it out.If you are missing someone from your last home, journal how you feel at the moment, as well as what troubled or made you happy that day.
Step 3: Discuss your experience with others.
Don’t let your shyness affect you during this experience.Talk to your friends at home or locally about how you are feeling.If you are on a study abroad trip and have other classmates who have similar feelings, connect with them as well as with those who are adjusting a bit more easily.You might say something like, “I know that you seem to be having a great time here in Italy but I’m really struggling with how different it is from home.”How did you acclimatize?
Step 4: There is a distraction.
It can be tempting to allow this culture shock to take over your mind, but allow something else to replace it.Do not ruminate on your stress constantly.You can watch movies or listen to music.You can practice your hobbies by reading, dancing or shopping.
Step 5: Keep in touch with your family.
Being homesick could be making you feel culture shock.Keep in touch with your friends and family back home.It’s a good idea to call your family and friends a minimum of every few days.You can send handwritten letters if phone access is restricted.
Step 6: You can ask for care packages.
Asking for care packages from your loved ones can help you remain connected to home.During times of stress, this will give you a chance to have some reminders of home with you.You can ask for snacks or hygiene products that you can’t find in your current location.
Step 7: Do things that are familiar to you.
Culture shock can make almost every experience feel completely new to you.You can bring some experiences from home to your current environment.Maybe you enjoy a meal that you can’t find in a restaurant in your current location.You can find the ingredients and make your own.Try to stay familiar with your daily schedule, even though you should try to have many new experiences.
Step 8: You should learn as much as you can about the environment.
You can combat this by doing a bit of information-digging.It is a good idea to research the area, country, or town that you are in.You will be able to adjust better and have more knowledge of the culture if you have a greater context and understanding.If you were accepted into a University that is located in a predominantly Native American community, you might not have known that.The local tribe as well as the community’s history should be researched.You will likely appreciate it more because of it.
Step 9: The culture needs to be respected.
You should find out as much as you can about the culture of the area so that you don’t commit any social faux pas.If you are in Israel, you may want to keep your shoulders and thighs covered.You don’t want to offend others by being ignorant of the customs.
Step 10: Go for walks.
You should be familiar with the setting that you are in.You can explore your surroundings by taking some time each day to walk.You can ask a friend to walk with you if you are in a safe area.If you get lost, keep your phone on you.
Step 11: You should learn the language.
Take some time to learn the language of your location.If you want to get by during your stay, you should learn at least a few basic terms and phrases.You might want to learn more if you will be in the area for more than six months.You should learn at least one or two new phrases a day.Talk to local speakers.You can learn the language by watching television shows or movies.
Step 12: Try new things.
If you’re missing the food at home, you now have the chance to try new dishes at a restaurant.You should try as many of these foods as you can.Ask the locals for the best places to visit and try them with you.
Step 13: Get involved.
You can find ways to get more involved in the community.If you come from a predominantly Black community, you might find yourself in a town where most of the population is white.Try to find a community of people with similar interests, while also finding people who you can identify with.Maybe there is a local book club that is going to read a book that you are interested in.Try it out for a while.
Step 14: Don’t participate in the culture.
Once you become more familiar with the culture, don’t want to immerse yourself so completely that you forget your own culture.An example would be travelling to India and getting tattoos without understanding the deeper meaning of the ink, which is traditionally used in wedding ceremonies.
Step 15: Don’t make mistakes.
You may have made a few mistakes during your journey in this new place.Try to avoid these mistakes in the future.If you are on a study abroad trip, you should consult with locals and websites related to the culture there.It is considered rude to turn down food in certain cultures.Practice the norms in your area.
Step 16: Set a goal.
You should plan action items that will help you achieve your goals.You might have a goal of having a 10 minute conversation in Spanish within two months.If you want to adapt more successfully, stick to your goals.
Step 17: List all the things you love.
Culture shock can make it hard to find the beauty in your surroundings.List all of the good things about your environment and any fun experiences you have had.You have probably had a lot more fun than you realize, but documenting it on paper can make it feel more real to you.Maybe the city you are in is beautiful.It’s possible that you met a really nice friend while you were there.
Step 18: Local friends.
Making some local friends is another way to create more positive vibes.You can meet new people at night.You can make some connections at a festival.Local friends can help you navigate the area, find the best spots, and have fun.
Step 19: Share your culture.
You can teach others about your culture if you try to learn more about it.This will help you feel appreciated as well as productive.Maybe you would like to cook your family’s favorite meal for your new friends.
Step 20: Remember to laugh.
Despite the tough times, never forget to laugh.Spend time with friends laughing and joking, call your funny friends, get on social media, or watch a funny show or movie.
Step 21: Practice patience.
Everyone experiences culture shock differently.Remember that the way you are feeling is only temporary, and give yourself time to adjust to the new culture.As you go through this process, try to be patient.
Step 22: Practice taking care of yourself.
It’s important that you take care of yourself during this time.You should eat well, exercise, and keep up your personal hygiene.Take some time to relax.
Step 23: Know when you need help with mental health issues.
It can be difficult to adapt to a new culture.If adjusting to a new culture is causing you so much stress that it is interfering with your daily life, you may want to seek the help of a mental health professional.You may be having trouble dealing with the changes if you feel lonely and homesick.A large portion of the time was sad, helpless, and anxious.There were no apparent reasons for having frequent crying spells.It is normal for you to have marked changes in your sleeping or eating habits.There has been an increase in minor illnesses such as flu.Irritated or agitated, feeling tense or on edge.I feel depressed.It can be difficult to concentrate in school or at work.Many areas of your life feel out of control.