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Self care

By Manuella Eken

Immigrating to a new country can be a transformative and challenging journey embarked upon by various individuals at any age. It often accompanies feelings of loneliness, overwhelm and sometimes anxiety as it indicates the process of usually starting over in a new land. Forgoing and replacing what we once knew and had with the newness and uncertain game of life. There is a lot of research and groundwork that requires patience and gradual progress that needs to be done to settle into the right country, city, school or even job away from your home country. This challenging and intense period can push us into autopilot or survival mode, requiring significant resilience, and making it difficult to adapt to our ‘new home’.

Through our mundane living, self-care is often neglected and takes the bottom place of our mental list as we tend to prioritize other tasks and goals. We frequently get caught up in the ecstasy and perpetual race to accomplish everything while neglecting our personal and social lives in the process, sometimes intentionally or unintentionally. It’s to no one’s surprise that immersing ourselves in work excessively can overshadow our well-being and the need to slow down, look around you and simply be in the moment and cater to yourself from within.

Sis, it’s crucial to become a part of supportive and enjoyable communities as a form of self-care. Participation in clubs or communities offers relief from stress, enabling us to engage in activities and conversations that redirect our thoughts and foster fresh perspectives from being with other women. Dig what you seek interest in, let your people find you and may the adventure begin. It could be yoga, Pilates, cooking, tennis, dancing, book clubs, singing or even a poker club. There’s always something for each one of us.

‘Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life.’ – Amy Poehler

Joining communities and clubs can be a great facilitator to meet new people and adjust to a new environment. The reality of being home away from home can be uncomfortable, confusing, slow and lonely especially when dealing with different climates, cultures, food and a lot of newness. However, connecting with other women in the diaspora can help ease the transition and make it a positive experience. Adjusting to a new way of living can also be an opportunity to rediscover your needs and wants, and to build relationships with yourself and those around you. It’s a journey that can help you manoeuvre through life with ease.

Who am I? What do I like or dislike? Who do I like? – Crucial questions taken one day at a time, one pace at a time.

Embracing unfamiliar experiences and vulnerability within our surroundings expands our horizons. Though daunting, traversing this path alongside a supportive community that empathizes with our journey can be profoundly comforting. Sharing our experiences fosters healing and togetherness.

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  • Manuella Eken


    Born in Cameroon and having lived in various cities including Brussels, London, and New York, Manuella recently settled in Canada. Holding a master's degree in finance and business management, she currently works in project management. Passionate about literature, she has also founded a community of readers to share their diverse interests.

    As the founder of the "WhereTheReadersMeet"; Book Club, she has dedicated her life to creating spaces where readers can come together to explore the infinite worlds of literature. Manuella is driven by the desire to share her passion for reading and to foster enriching discussions withinher community of readers.

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August De Richelieu

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