How to deal with migratory mourning? 6 useful tips

Leaving one’s hometown, either voluntarily or because we are forced to, is not easy, even leaving aside the bureaucratic process, even though we know that the purpose of change is to increase our quality of life. The existence of migratory mourning is the best example of this.

Migratory grief is understood as a feeling of loss and discomfort when the subject emigrates to settle elsewhere. Symptoms that appear are similar to those exhibited when losing a loved one, such as sadness, trouble sleeping and eating, or difficulty concentrating. In the same way, to overcome the loss, it is necessary to go through a grieving process composed of different stages.

In this article you will know better how to deal with migratory grief adopt psychologically effective strategies.

What is migratory mourning?

It is easy to guess how the concept is defined if we value the two terms that compose it. By mourning, we mean the feeling, the state, which appears in front of a situation of loss, each subject will experience it in a different way, being able to present / display different symptoms both physical and emotional. If we focus on second-term migration, it is used when an individual leaves his place of residence to settle in another.

Thus, migratory mourning refers to the feeling of loss, discomfort that occurs in some individuals after leaving their place of origin. And it is that the causes for taking the decision to leave and go to another country can be very varied, almost always having the objective of living better in the new city, but despite obtaining a better quality of life can appear in the submit the sensation of longing, of missing one’s hometown … or even another type of more intense and qualitatively different emotional alterations to the experience of missing what that person leaves behind.

Besides, if we were forced to leave because of a context of great economic precariousness or fleeing a war or a process of persecution of minoritiesthe experience can be more traumatic, both for the memories associated with this process of emigration, and for the certainty that you do not have the possibility of returning easily and at any time to the place from which you came if things go wrong at the campaign host.

Main characteristics of migratory bereavement

This type of grieving presents the basic characteristics of any grieving process. But it also shows some distinguishing variables that make it different, such as whether it is multiple grief, the period of onset of symptoms, and whether it is considered partial grief or recurrent grief.

When we say multiple bereavement, we mean that the entity causing the sense of loss can be more than one: for example, culture, language, family, friends, food… When it comes to a feeling towards a space or people who have not really ceased to exist or to live (we have only been moving away from these elements), it’s considered a partial duelconflicting feelings and desires may arise, even guilt from feeling psychologically vulnerable to a problem we don’t readily identify, causing us to feel bad about ourselves for mistakenly viewing ourselves as “too loose” or “weak”.

On the other hand also it’s a recurring duelbecause there are different actions, situations… that can make the subject fall back into the feeling of loss, such as talking to his mother by video call, seeing photos of the house in childhood, hearing about or visiting for a few days and seeing how friends have aged…

Ultimately, it is common for this discomfort or loss experience to occur some time after it has occurredsince normally the first months after the transfer the subject is occupied with paperwork, settling down or with other tasks that distract him, it is for this reason that this duel is also known under the name of “disease of 6 months”.

Symptoms of migratory bereavement

As we have seen, this kind of duel it can show similar variables to other loss processes. Below we will consider some of them so that you can identify them in time if you are in this situation and avoid further damage.

  • You are sad most of the time and most of the day.
  • You feel angry, you constantly complain about the new place of residence.
  • You feel lonely and find that you don’t have the people you consider important by your side.
  • You’re just working and you don’t feel suited to the new city.
  • You feel that you have betrayed or abandoned the people around you or that you feel lost.
  • You don’t know how to act in the new town.

The stages of migratory mourning

As with the death of a loved one, the subject goes through different stages before coming to terms with the loss.. However, it should be kept in mind that not all phases are the same in all individuals, and they do not all need to always appear. It is also possible to go back, because, as we said before, the feeling of grief is recurrent.

The first phase that can occur is the denial of migratory mourning, the subject acts as if nothing had happened, as if the loss had not occurred or did not adapt to the new site; later can occur the phase of rationality of the situation where the individual becomes aware of the loss which this one supposes and that he needs to adapt.

Migration this can also lead to an anger phase because they have made the decision to migrate and they are angry with the way things are going, it is difficult to adapt. It will be crucial to master this sentence so that it does not become complicated by preventing you from having a good experience in the new place.

Another phase that can appear in the process is the feeling of fear.; it is normal in small amounts because it allows us to stay alert and prepare for unforeseen events, but if it is very intense, irrational, it can affect our functioning, causing us to stop acting, doing things things and to achieve our goals for fear of what may happen. This experience of fear can occur before, during or after the migration.

The next phase is the emotional and cognitive acceptance of the loss.. Once we accept the loss, it is easier to put into perspective how we feel and take stock of what hurt us and all that we have learned and the quality of the change. This is the only way to succeed in linking the past life to the present, without having to reject one or the other.

Finally, if we have overcome the different stages and accepted the situation, the last step is usually to create new links, relationships, to start a new life in an optimal way. In some cases, it has been observed that the individual, once adapted to the new culture, can reject his own, the original one, although this behavior is not the most common.

How to deal favorably with migratory bereavement

Now that we know the different stages that we can go through during migratory grief, it is useful to know what strategies or techniques can help us to make them unfold more favorably and have less impact on our functionality.

1. Think of the situation as a means of development and growth

This strategy is related to the well-known saying “to see the glass half full or half empty”, that is to say, depending on how one sees the situation or the perspective one adopts, it may be more or less easy to accept it. So if we see it as an opportunity to grow and learn new things, it will be less difficult to adapt to it and overcome grief sooner.

2. Maintain realistic expectations

It is true that the main purpose of migration is to achieve a better quality of life, but we must not idealize the country we are going to, because in this way it will be very unlikely, if not impossible, meet our expectationsthus increasing the possibility of feeling disappointed or sad.

3. Allow yourself to feel

As in any process, to overcome it, we must not avoid or deny what we feel, even if it costs us at this moment, it is better that we allow ourselves to feel fear, sadness …to be able to start working with them and be able to place it correctly. In our lifes. Faced with a situation of change of accommodation, of country, it is normal to be afraid, it’s a feeling that you have to go through to achieve a good adaptation.

4. Don’t isolate yourself

Try to meet people, because having social support promotes a better process and a better adaptation and knowledge of the culture of the host place. Also, if you are ok with subjects who have also emigrated from another country, they can use their advice to overcome the process and feel that you are not the only one in this situation..

5. Take the time you need

Each person needs a different period to adapt to the new situation, take the time you need and don’t feel pressured to be okaybecause if you try to speed up the process, you may not be able to overcome it properly.

6. Seek professional help

If you find that the situation is overwhelming and you feel great discomfort that affects your daily life or your functionality, It is recommended to seek professional help in psychotherapy. In this way, you will obtain an intervention more adapted to your characteristics, with closer support and carried out by someone who knows how to act effectively in this situation.

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