Top 5 Tips for Surviving Quarantine as an Expat in Canada
Guest Blog Post
Since moving from England to Canada 3.5 years ago, I’ve been on a constant emotional rollercoaster. It was the most adventurous and brave decision I’ve ever made; it has also come with many challenges. From building a new career to dealing with homesickness, I’ve quickly found that relocating across the world is anything but simple!
When a global pandemic was announced in March 2020, expat life suddenly became very overwhelming. Being so far away from my native country and from my loved ones during such an uncertain time gave me a lot of anxiety. I’ve struggled with guilt, self-doubt, and a constant feeling of unease. During this time, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my expat journey.
Now more than ever, it’s important to dedicate time for self-reflection so that you can understand how you’re feeling and take steps to improve your experience abroad. Here are my top 5 tips to surviving quarantine as an expat in Canada:
1 - ANALYSE YOUR EMOTIONS
If you learn one thing from this post, let it be this: There is no right or wrong way for you to be feeling during this time.
There seems to be so many pressures put on us from outside sources that are dictating what we ‘should’ be doing or achieving during these lockdowns. This can lead to us putting unhealthy expectations on ourselves that aren’t fair or even achievable.
Remember: Everyone is dealing with this pandemic in their own way. Take the pressure off. It is important to regularly think about what emotions you're feeling, why you're feeling them, and where they are coming from. Then, you can choose some of these next tips to shift your mindset.
2 - RECONNECT
One of the best reminders that has come from this pandemic for me is the realization that I have my loved ones at the end of my fingertips – and they’ve been there all along. This is the perfect time for expats to reconnect with family and friends: Everyone around the world wants to connect digitally right now!
Make a list of everyone you’d love to catch up with and reach out to them to schedule those calls. There is no better medicine for homesickness than a long chat with someone you feel a deep connection with.
3 - GATHER KNOWLEDGE
As a result of the lockdowns, many businesses and organisations have moved their resources online. Take advantage of this digital shift and find webinars, live Q&As and blog posts in the areas that are most worrying you. Are you panicking about your immigration status? Anxious about the future Canadian job market? Knowledge plays a huge role in calming your concerns. This is the perfect time to absorb all of this available (often free!) content so that you are that much more prepared for when things open back up again.
4 - CREATE A SPACE TO UNPLUG
Since moving to Canada, I’ve made a conscious effort to create a space for ‘me’ time. Making new friends, finding a new job, adjusting to culture shock… All of this is a lot to handle and it’s important to have a place to go to unwind. Think about what makes you happy and create a space in your home that calms you. Whether it’s a comfy reading nook surrounded by your favourite photos, or a corner dedicated to your art or your music, you’ll appreciate being able to switch off the screens and pressures of social media for a while and detox with your favourite activity.
5 - LOOK TO THE FUTURE
Use this downtime to shift your mindset to positivity and plan for an amazing future! You’ve made a huge decision to move to Canada and you should be proud of yourself for making a courageous move. Now is a great time to analyse where you’re at and make some new dreams! Whenever you’re feeling motivated, research the places in Canada you’d love to visit. Look into local restaurants you want to try when they re-open. Make a list of new hobbies or skills you want to learn. Remind yourself why you chose this beautiful country as your new home and prepare to jump back into your amazing expat life as soon as you can.
There you have it! I hope that this post has given you a few ideas for how to get through your quarantine abroad. Just remember: It’s all about your mindset. Regularly ‘check-in’ and acknowledge how you’re feeling. Accept the things that you cannot control. You are so strong to have moved your life to a new country, let alone live there through a pandemic! Give yourself credit where it’s due. We'll get through this together!
Written by Kate Johnson
Expat & Travel Blogger
Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.
We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.