The holidays are often a time of reflection. Reflection over the past year, reflection on one’s life, and a lot more reflection. Sometimes, we use reflection though, as an opportunity to measure ourselves using the yardstick of others and their achievements. And when you do this, especially if life is not going the way you expect, it’s a great (but not really) setup for disillusion.
If you’ve been in the US for any length of time you would have experienced that it may not be what you expected. And that can be both good and bad. I saw horrible representations of African Americans in the media, and I always questioned if there were no great Black Americans there. My dad tried to tell me it was misrepresentation due to racism, and that dovetailed to apartheid and so much more on the Black diaspora. But let’s get back to the topic at hand.
Disillusion is often rooted in expectations. The expectations you have of yourself, of your new home, and of others. The thing about expectations is that, if not rooted in some fact and given flexibility of reality and hope, they can crash down around you, and you’re left wondering why you even started this journey in the first place. I would like to encourage you: You are not alone. It is normal, and it happens to everyone, immigrant or not. Experiences of growing up, moving away from home, moving back home, getting married, getting divorced, and all of life’s stuff in between are universal, and present opportunities to be disillusioned. But if you hold fast to what you know, what you have (no matter how little you may think it is), and why you’re here, you can cope with the beautiful simplicities and complexities of life. I hope you fare better than I did. It took me a while to realize disillusion was one of the things I was dealing with (which I’ll try to share later), and I allowed myself to be pushed into not doing the things I loved. There are some simple things that helped me, and they work for a variety of issues we’re going through mentally. I hope they help you too.
1. Sleep: Adequate sleep is important. As much as you can, please get some.
2. Eating well: Eating fresh healthy foods do wonders for the psyche.
3. Try something new: This is self-explanatory, but often, novelty helps jumpstart the brain.
4. Go somewhere new: Jump in your car and drive to somewhere 30 minutes away that you’ve never been to before. Explore nature and parks in your area. Get some sunshine!
5. Go for a walk: It’s like medicine.
6. Complete an item on your to-do list: Also self-explanatory, but just dive in. Do one thing, cross it off your list, and bask in your accomplishment. You’ve done well.
Hope this helps, and I’ll see you guys soon.