Uliyana Markova

Как да останем щастливи въпреки празниците?

Тази статия е публикувана във вестник Български Пламък от 4 декември, 2015.

Какво се случва с нас по време на пред-ваканционния сезон?

Повече хора, повече дейности, повече трафик, повече списъци със задачи, завишени очаквания и повече емоции отколкото обикновено. Това води до по-малко търпение, по-реактивно поведение и повече конфликти. Освен това, ако това е един от първите ни коледни сезони в Торонто, изпитваме повишен стрес от количеството нова информация и натискът върху нас да не направим грешка. Родителите са особено напрегнати, тъй като те получават допълнителна доза от списъци за подаръци, концерти, снимки с Дядо Коледа и детски забави. „Но нали това трябва да е един много красив и щастлив период от годината, изпълнен с радост и обич.“ Да, така е по филмите и рекламите. Макар и да ни носят удоволствие, те също могат да предизвикат мисълта, че нещо не е наред с нас, че се проваляме и да ни накарат да се чувстваме несигурни.

 

Как да се справим?

  1. Отпуснете се. Приемете, че този период е малко ненормален. Той просто е.
  2. Информирайте се. Развийте си нови нагласи и практики, както и начини за справяне като се учите от експертите. Има толкова много писано. Търсете, четете, слушайте и се опитайте да прилагате наученото.
  3. Не се опитвайте да се променяте през този месец. Ако все пак решите, изберете само едно нещо в даден момент. Нашата психическа енергия е ограничена.
  4. Ако не сте в състояние да получите достатъчно сън, не се притеснявайте, не се обвинявайте. Много хора страдат от безсъние. Има много възможни причини. За да резберете причината за вашето безсъние, вижте стъпки 1 и 2.
  5. Мислете позитивно за себе си, дори ако това е супер трудно. Най-вероятно, вие притежавате интелигентността и способностите необходими за да управлявате живота си. Ако сте установили, че не можете да се справите и сте решили да потърсите професионална помощ, това е умна и смела постъпка, която също показва стратегическо мислене.

 

Как мога да помогна на моя партньор и семейството?

  1. Въведете лично спокойствие следвайки съветите по-горе. Кажете на най-близките си от какво имате нужда, за да запазите това лично спокойствие и как те могат да допринесат за това.
  2. Дайте на другите пространство да живеят и правят грешки. Бъдете наясно с вашата нужда да ги контролирате.
  3. Наблюдавайте най-близките си, за да прецените техните нужди. Питайте ги. Правете това, което те искат, така както те го искат, ако можете. Не обещавайте преди да сте проверили, че сте спокойни и имате време на разположение.

 

Какво ще кажете за моите деца? Те имат нужда от мен през цялото време.

Не съвсем. Вижте от какво точно се нуждаят – вашето присъствие, успокоение, добра храна, рутини, или пример. Понякога не е очевидно.

 

How to Remain Sane During the Holidays

The holiday season is marked by extremes. More people, more activities, more traffic, more to-do lists, heightened expectations, and more emotions than usual. This results in less patience, more reactive behavior, and more conflicts. Parents are particularly strained as they get served an additional doze of gift lists, concerts, Santa pictures, and family fun.

This season is beautiful, happy, and filled with laughter and love is what we hear everywhere. Yes…and no. For each of us, it will be our own unique, sometimes messy and disorderly experience. As we take in the images of beautiful decors in the design magazines, festive dishes in the food stores, and joyful families in the holiday movies, we may end up feeling more insecure, inadequate or downright failing. Sadness and grief may overcome us as we remember people we have lost or painful past holidays.

What can I do for myself?

  • Relax. Accept that this time is a little crazy. It just is.
  • Inform yourself. Develop attitudes, routines, and ways of managing by learning from others. There is so much written out there. Search it, consult it.
  • Don’t try to change yourself this month. If you must, select one thing at a time. Each day, we have a limited amount of mental energy to spend.
  • Be kind to yourself. This may be the hardest as many of us are not used to it. Try it.

How can I be of help to my family and friends?

  • Try to ground yourself first. Be clear with your family what you require of them in order to maintain your calm.
  • Give others space to move around and make mistakes. Be aware of your need to control them.
  • Observe your closest people quietly to see exactly what their needs are. If it is not obvious, ask. Do what they want as they want it. If you can. Don’t promise before you’ve checked in with yourself that you are calm and you have time.

Where Do You Come From?

On my evening subway ride home, two young women sitting next to me engage in a conversation that captures my attention.

“How long you’ve been in Canada?” the girl across me says.

“One year…Not easy,” says the blue-eyed, dark-haired girl sitting next to me. “You from San Paulo?”

They continue exchanging half sentences on the topic of their birth countries. “Turkey is beautiful?” asks the girl with the longer stay in Canada.

“Hmm…Some places – yes. You married?”

The conversation has shifted to their personal lives. One of the girls pulls out a key chain and shows a picture of her and her husband. Now I am fully engaged in this direct and candid conversation which completely lacks awkwardness and is filled with smiles and pure curiosity. I suddenly sneeze and they both say “Bless you”, pleased with their perfect pronunciation and cultural attunement. My face relaxes and I am now half-smiling, enjoying this precious encounter.

After 20 years living in Toronto, I have had several peeks at fresh immigrants’ conversations on the subway train. They always fill me with warmth and memories of my own years of experimenting with a new language in a new place, learning the subway stations, and endlessly practicing those few simple sentences that get you the most essential information. I am always amazed by the combination of humility, hope, courage and excitement many immigrants exhibit. Not everyone, however, sails through the immigration woes so easily. ESL teachers find that their English teaching job often expands to educating, clarifying, and explaining cultural specificity,  and patiently working with students in the long process of adjustment. Several studies referenced in Norman Doidge’s bestselling book “The Brain That Changes Itself” refer to visible brain changes resulting from cultural transitions such as moving to a new country and learning a new language. Immigrants undergo an enormous amount of cognitive and emotional stimulation that results in learning that the brain needs to accommodate.

I am often astounded by the intelligence, perceptivity and tenacity of new immigrants trying to immerse themselves in the Canadian professional world. Sometimes transitioning from established positions in jobs they had mastered in their own countries, here they are faced with the challenge to reestablish themselves while dealing with an inevitable sense of inadequacy from being learners in the language, cultural and workplace terrains.

The process of adjustment is long and complicated with implications to all aspects of the immigrant’s life. First generation children can best attest to that change. Several languages spoken at home, clashes of traditions and values, cuisine and religion, all in a mix that presents itself each and every day. Some will change more than the others. Families will be tested for flexibility and strength. Some will persist and others will settle with less than what they hoped for. But in most cases, they all will have made a serious effort to adapt.