Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Life update// Reverse Culture Shock

Life update// reverse culture shock

Reverse culture shock: when you return home from living abroad and find it difficult to readjust. I have definitely been suffering from reverse culture shock since I've come home from Japan. Of course, my year wasn't all sunshine and roses, but overall it was amazing. Since I returned, I've been feeling so down and I have no motivation to do anything- study, blog, even to cook food. Ugh. I miss Japan so much more than I was expecting to: I miss how exciting town was, I miss Japanese fashion and pop culture and big things like that, but I miss the little things like the conbini and traffic light noises. I really wanna keep blogging about Japan because I've got so many cool places and things left to share with you guys, but blogging about it makes me miss it even more!



I've also been really lonely, anxious and withdrawn, and haven't been able to just 'slot back in' to where I was in first year. I don't have many good coping methods, and trying not to lapse back into old habits around food is a particular problem. I've been having problems with sleep too, what fun. Uni at Leeds is also way more rigorous than in Japan, and my friends are all stressed out and don't have as much time for just chilling out as they did last year. I seriously considered dropping out of uni a couple of times. It's silly, because I absolutely adore my degree, even now, I'm doing some really interesting culture/history modules and everyone on my course (and in Leeds in general) is super nice.

But still. I'm down, but hopefully I'll feel a bit brighter soon ^^ Even if you're prepared, I don't think you can entirely prevent reverse culture shock, but here are some ways I think could help manage it- I'm definitely trying to make more of an effort!

Coping with reverse culture shock//


Know that you're not alone// Something that helps me feel less anxious (or at least makes me feel less guilty about being anxious) is knowing that culture shock and reverse culture shock is an actual thing and it's ok to feel like this. 

Don't beat yourself up// Everyone gets sad/ anxious etc. sometimes, even if they don't show it. and that's ok! 

Keep doing things you love// Keep busy and don't leave yourself tonnes of time to mope around :) 

Self care//  I know I always go on about this, but never underestimate the difference to your health- mental and physical- that a good 8 hours of sleep, food and exercise makes. On that note, if you are feeling anxious, make sure you aren't having too much caffeine- I had a couple of days where I think excess caffeine was making me really shaky. Try and swap out your coffee for a tea once in a while.

Keep in touch with people// sometimes when you're down, it can be easy to let yourself get a little isolated. It's fine to be alone, but not if you're lonely. So, try and reconnect with people you haven't seen for ages while you were away! Meet up with your mates, have a lil skype sesh, anything.

Take your rose tinted glasses off// In the same way that it's not good to keep moaning about your host country while you're abroad, it's not good to continually moan about your home country when you're back. A little bit is fine and totally normal, but if you build the country you just left into this magical place in your head, it won't help you to readjust to being back home because you'll be constantly be comparing 'home' favorably to where you just were. There were loads of good things, but I'm sure there were hard things about living in that country too. Remember to be realistic about it.

Plan to go back one day <3 I'm 10000% going to go back to Japan! There's so much there that I haven't seen, and I'd love to go back and live in a city for a bit. I'm gonna try and look into an internship or something...

See a professional// There's no shame in going to see a counsellor, even one quick check in could be a help. Especially as a student, you could have free counselling available to you without the long NHS waiting list. At the very least, try and talk about it with someone, or write down how you're feeling.

Sorry for the TMI... But, even if it's slightly terrifying, I do think things like this are important to write about. I respect bloggers who write about mental health so so much, and I think talking about it, or even just knowing you're not alone can be a massive help. If you're feeling down, then make sure to talk to someone and know that you're not alone. Lastly, definitely don't be ashamed of how you feel.  I hope y'all are ok and having a good autumn! Next post will be a bit more lighthearted with a lot of cats, so please look forward to it <3

-Amy xoxo

How to deal with loneliness and homesickness on your year abroad// 20 ways to look after yourself a litte better: Basic self care// Escaping Tokyo: A visit to Mount Takao

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2 comments

  1. Awh bby, I hope you feel better soon! I love all of your blog posts about Japan, but if it's upsetting you then you should take a break from it. I can imagine it being hard to adjust but you can do it! I believe in you :D

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    1. Thank you so much omg... You're so sweet! <3 I'm glad you're enjoying reading the Japan posts~ They are fun to write and I know I can go back one day so I'm trying to keep my chin up :)

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