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Here to support you.

Here to help you healing.

Here to take care of you.

Here to understand you.

No matter where you are, we are here with you.

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Tip for week #12. Become a new Observer in your city.

We are about to start a new school year. Everything is starting to run again. People are coming back from vacation. We start to be ready for a new performance. Why don’t we use this as an opportunity to observe our reality with different perspective?

A mindful attitude can help us to embrace our day-to-day with a different light. We just need to become aware of all the possibilities that exist on our life.

Suggestion: choose a different way to go to work and get back home, join a new activity you’ve always wanted to do, make spontaneous plans and star practicing a new sport.

Tip for week #11. Make a wish.

Beliefs are the most powerful tool to make a difference, to perform successfully, to guide us towards a goal.

Sometimes, we just need to belief in our vision and in an unconscious way, we’ll make it happen.

Make a wish,

Take a chance,

Make a change.

Suggestion: picture yourself in a year from now. What is different in that vision? Have you spot it? Now, retain that in your mind, close your eyes and make a wish.

Tip for week #10. Take the initiative.

Life doesn’t stop and for that reason we encourage you this week to take the leading role.

We all have a pending activity or talk in our to-do-lists.

It’s time to face the fears. It’s time to stand up and go.

It’s time to gain back the control in that specific aspect.

It’s time to prove yourself that you don’t need to wait to do what makes you happy.

Desde España al fin del mundo

A veces, llega el momento en nuestras vidas en el que decidimos ponernos las botas de aventura, coger la maleta y emprender un viaje solo con billete de ida. Ese es el momento en el que aceptamos el reto de ser expatriados, de salir de nuestra zona de confort e ir a buscar retos a un país en el que nunca nos habíamos imaginado viviendo.

Cada día, esta situación es la vida real de muchos jóvenes españoles que tras acabar su formación en España, deciden emprender un camino internacional. Los motivos pueden ser varios, y sería una idea muy interesante para otro post en este blog, pero lo importante aquí es… ¿y qué pasa una vez que hemos aterrizado en nuestro nuevo destino? 

Las primeras semanas siempre son intensas: empiezas a conocer la ciudad que será tu casa por tiempo indefinido, tu nuevo lugar de trabajo, las personas que pasaran a ser acompañantes en tu viaje, y sobre todo empezaras a conocerte de verdad.

Dice la psicología que nuestras capacidades se agudizan cuando estamos en momentos de riesgo o alta dificultad, como una reacción automática de nuestro ser para seguir luchando. Algo parecido pasa durante los primeros meses de la expatriación, es un momento complicado y delicado, de muchos cambios, frustración, morriña pero también ilusión y esperanza. 

Nuestra mente lucha durante meses con esa dualidad de emociones que puede resultar en dos direcciones opuestas, una de ellas a veces inimaginada en ningún momento. La primera dirección va hacia la satisfacción y “el asentamiento”, inclinándose la balanza a estabilizar tus emociones con la acumulación de <<positivos>> (un piso que consideras hogar, un trabajo retador, una confianza en tus habilidades idiomáticas y una red de apoyo activa). 

Esta dirección es maravillosa y te llevará a disfrutar al máximo de la experiencia de la expatriación, incluso en los momentos de añoranza a la patria. Pero ¿cuál es la realidad? Que a veces la falta de habilidades o experiencia internacional, las altas expectativas acerca de esta nueva etapa a nivel personal o profesional, o un contexto con mayores trabas de lo imaginado, nos hacen llegar a la segunda dirección. 

Esta dirección inclina la balanza a lo <<negativo>>, y surge cuando sentimos que la situación nos puede, que los obstáculos son muy grandes y tú muy pequeño, y que el más mínimo inconveniente genera una explosión emocional. En estos momentos nuestra salud mental está en riesgo, ya eres consciente del cansancio mental, de la falta de energía para tirar hacia delante y solo quieres que alguien te coja la mano y te ayude a tirar de esa mochila que vino llena de sueños y se terminó de sobrecargar con decepciones. A todo esto, se le añade la necesidad imperiosa de compartir con tus personas cercanas, hablando en tu propio idioma, todo lo que está ocurriendo. Esta sería una estrategia perfecta, pero en muchos casos por miedo o por no querer defraudar o preocupar a tus seres queridos no lo haces. Este es el momento en el que tienes que recordar que existen otros recursos como los servicios profesionales de la psicología. Todos, en algún momento de nuestra vida, necesitamos un lugar seguro para desahogarnos y recibir un pequeño empujón, y la expatriación puede ser el momento en tu caso. No te avergüences de pedir ayuda.

Cerrando este post, añadiremos que, desde un punto de vista profesional, todos los caminos antes o después se acaban inclinando hacia lo <<positivo>>, porque nuestra tendencia humana de lucha y supervivencia nos hace ser capaces de crear distancia y perspectiva en esos momentos en los que nos atascamos. Y por eso, aunque la expatriación cueste siempre acaba guardándose en nuestros corazones como una de las mejores etapas de nuestra vida. 

Tip for week #9. Connect with nature.

We have the privilege of living in a world with the most precious gift ever: NATURE.

Sometimes our busy schedules and our metropolitan cities don’t allow us to really breath fresh air and being in contact with the Earth.

For this reason, this tip is concrete: book a Saturday morning, take your car and drive to the mountain, enjoy a long walk, have lunch in the nature and embrace the beauty.

Tip for week #8. Show appreciation to a loved one.

One of the best things about life is love.

Love is one of the most researched words in the world.

Love is one of the most intense feelings we could ever have.

Love have no limits or boundaries.

And the most important thing: we don’t have to wait until someone leave to say how much we love them.

Suggestion: stop reading this, pick up your phone and write/text someone that you love to show your appreciation (mom, dad, sister, brother, friend, partner, colleague… anyone you love)

Tip for week #7. Enjoy the little pleasures

One day I read a quote that needs to be shared with you:

“Honestly, life is all about the little things that you barely even notice: that delicious coffee you had in the morning, your friend randomly pinching your cheek, the moon shining brighter than usual, the radio playing your favorite song.

Pay more attention to these details, they make life worth living”.

Reference: Somewhere in social media

Suggestion: allow your senses to experience your surroundings.

Tip for week #6. Practice your hobbies.

A positive source of satisfaction is our hobby. And our hobby can be defined as any activity that helps us to promote positive emotions.

This activity might be anything, and it doesn’t necessarily imply other people.

Please, in order to boost your well-being, dedicate time to that activity as least once a week.

Some suggestions: organization and balance are the keys to maintain a healthy connection with our hobbies. This means that we need to make time in our agendas for our hobbies in the right dose. Busying our agenda with hobbies when there are other responsibilities might be overwhelming, destroying our motivation and draining our energy to enjoy.

Culture Shock. What’s that?

On many occasions, adapting to a new culture can become more complicated than we think. Before embarking on an adventure, it can be difficult to evaluate objectively the risks and difficulties that we may find. In moments like that, excitement and illusion flood us, and we tend to idealize what is about to come.

If you are young and that adventure is a trip that offers you the possibility of living in another country, away from home, surrounded by new people, it´s even more exciting. It’s easy to think that it is going to be the best year of our life!

Moreover, indeed it may be, but for sure we will have to deal with many challenges to overcome, the first of them being adapting to all the different values, customs, and traditions you will find in this new culture.

However, let’s start at the beginning. What is cultural adaptation and how does it work?

The process of cultural adaptation is the process in which every person who comes in contact with another culture passes until he or she manages to accept and adapt to the differences between his/her own culture and the new one. This process has typically 4 phases.

Let´s describe each stage:

-The honeymoon phase: During this moment, everything seems WONDERFUL because we are focusing on the most superficial aspects of the new culture.

We´ve just arrived, the city seems fantastic, we begin to meet many new friends, there are events and parties to go to all the time, the food looks delicious to us… It´s effortless to think that “Living here for a while is going to be very easy.”

– Cultural shock: In this phase, everything starts to get complicated. It´s at this stage where we usually begin to be aware of the differences between our own culture and the one we are living in. Things are not so fun or exciting anymore, and we can feel annoyed by little things that were not so important before.

We may feel upset and irritated by little daily things  today, and we can start having thoughts of the type “I don´t want to meet new people, people speak very fast, and I don´t understand the language”, “There is too much noise, people shout a lot here “,” I´m tired of people invading my personal space every time they greet me “,” I don´t understand their schedules, they go to bed, have lunch and dinner really late” etc.

In this phase, we can start feeling homesick, sad, anxious, irascible; we can sleep, drink or eat too much, isolate ourselves, feel hostility towards locals… Don´t worry, experiencing all of this is normal; we are beginning to appreciate deeper cultural differences and adapting to all these new things may not be easy.

The reality is that during the honeymoon phase things were not so great, and now things are not so negative. At this moment we see both cultures in an unrealistic way, and we tend to think that one is superior to the other. We have gone from one extreme to the other. Realizing this may not be easy, and occasionally we may need a little bit of help to overcome this stage.

-Cultural Adjustment: This phase is the transition between culture shock and cultural adaptation. When we overcome the cultural shock, and we increase contact with locals, there is also an increase in our confidence and a greater understanding of new cultural norms and customs.

Cultural adaptation: We have reached the goal. We realize that there is not one culture better than another, they are just different, and we can understand the influence of culture on people’s lives. It is at this moment when we begin to integrate some values ​​and customs of the new culture in our day to day.

At this point, we have completed the acculturation process and as we have seen, adapting to a culture is not as simple as we think. It is true that not everyone has to experience what we call culture shock, or go through the Honeymoon phase, but the reality is that in a greater or lesser extent most people go through these phases when  they start exploring and living in another culture. So now that we know that this can happen, in what stage would you say you are in?

Author: Saray Cáliz, psychologist at SINEWS MTI

Tip for week #5. Redo your priority list.

Anytime is a good time to look into our agendas and reflect about our organization.

The base of a good organization in our private agendas is a good prioritization criterion.

When was the last time you reevaluate the preference in your actions?

Work vs. Free time

Partner vs. Friends

Chores vs. Relax at home

Social Media vs. Real Life

Some suggestions: think on your values first and then, aligned your values with the portion of time that you dedicate to each task.

A basic example: if your family weights more than your work, why are you connected to your email during your free time on a weekend?

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