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Article by: Alyssa Strickland 

How Immigrants Can Settle in Their New Communities and Support the Old

 

There are major social challenges immigrants face when they move to the United States. For starters, it’s extremely important to find and join a community in your new location. Having a caring, supportive group of neighbors can make a world of difference when it comes to finding resources, navigating a new culture, and simply feeling like you’re truly settling in.

 

At the same time, however, immigrants need to find effective ways to stay in touch with and support loved ones in their home country. These bonds don’t unravel when you move, and trying to nourish them can feel like an insurmountable task when you’re a world apart. Finally, immigrants need to care for their own emotional health in order to keep relationships both here and overseas as strong as they can be.

 

The community of Georgetown South is proud to welcome immigrants and we offer a supportive space. We hope the following tips can help you manage these above social goals while making the transition to your new home: 

 

Maintain Strong Ties from Afar 

 

It may take some time for you to truly  feel connected to your new neighbors. That’s why maintaining relationships with loved ones back home remains important, especially once you first arrive. Relying on those established relationships can help you avoid feeling lonely or out-of-place. 

 

Thankfully, we are in an ever-connected age. Technology allows us to message, call, and even see our loved ones in real-time, no matter if they’re in the Philippines, India, South Africa, or anywhere else. Technology also makes it easy to support your family financially from afar. If you plan to send money home, seek out apps and online services to safely send funds. For example, if you intend to send money to family in Manila, seek out a trustworthy site like Remitly, which guarantees secure transfers, and offers competitive exchange rates, and low-cost or zero fees for remittance services

 

Get to Know Your Community 

 

Finding a community in your new country can be a challenge, but there are a few techniques you can use to make it easier. For example, you might consider joining a church or religious organization to find people of shared faith. It’s also worthwhile to keep an eye on community events so you can get to know the people who live in your city and start to develop relationships. 

 

It can also be worth it to connect with cultural organizations from your home country, or immigrant communities in general. You’ll be able to find solidarity and have a place where you can feel more at home. Moreover, other established immigrants may be able to point you toward helpful resources. 

 

Take Care of Yourself

 

Moving to a new country is hard in a variety of nuanced, complicated ways. It’s important to make sure you take good care of yourself during this transition. First and foremost, the stress of immigrating can cause serious short- and long-term problems, both for your physical and mental health. Remember that it’s important to stay well, even when things are difficult. 

 

Extreme and sustained stress can make it almost impossible to build and forge new relationships. This can lead to a cycle of anxiety and loneliness, making it even harder to truly feel at home in your new country. Fortunately, there are several simple self-care steps you can take to stay well:

 

  • Focus on getting enough sleep whenever possible. 
  • Eat a varied, healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. 
  • Exercise for at least thirty minutes every day. 
  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water

 

If you’re doing these things and still experiencing significant stress, consider finding a therapist who has experience working with immigrant populations. They can help you develop coping tools specific to your needs and situation, and craft a care plan that will help you build healthy long-term habits. 

 

Community support — from new and old communities alike — is vital for immigrants when it comes to maintaining their mental and physical health as they settle into a new country. We hope this article helps you find the best techniques for fostering relationships and feeling more at home. 

 

Want to get more involved in the Georgetown South Community? Visit the community blog and explore the website to find out more.

 

Photo Credit: Pexels

Alyssa Strickland

 

 

Pavilion[/caption]

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After library visit on our reading camp


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