Canada is a land of many opportunities as a result of a stable economy. Available job opportunities across various industries attract migrants from all over the globe. Skilled immigrants also get incentives like loans and training opportunities, making the country a top destination for job hunters.
Additionally, the country provides access to top-notch healthcare, education, and social services that ensure excellent living standards. What makes Canada even more appealing to immigrants is its immigration policies that encourage them to bring their family members on board, fostering social support.
The Threat of Isolation
Beyond the amazing possibilities that the country provides, loneliness is now a major concern. According to recent reports, Canada’s immigrants face a higher risk of loneliness than Canadian-born citizens. More than 50% of older immigrant citizens face isolation, which impacts other aspects of life, such as mental health.
Amidst the challenges, finding practical entertainment during breaks can be a valuable source of solace. Playing online slots real money South Africa offers a welcome escape, providing moments of relaxation and enjoyment for individuals navigating the complexities of immigrant life.
Why is Loneliness a Problem for Immigrants?
Various factors contribute to the prevalence of loneliness among Canadian immigrants, including:
In 2022, Canada received the highest number of immigrants from India, China, and Afghanistan. While some of these immigrants may already communicate in English, most have to start from scratch and learn a new language in an unfamiliar territory, making social connections harder to forge.
Disrupted Social Networks
Most individuals who come to Canada don’t come with their families initially due to reasons such as settling challenges and financial constraints. This interferes with their social networks, and forming meaningful relationships in the short term may be challenging.
Settling down in a foreign country is no mean feat. There’s a lot of screening and paperwork involved. It may also take a longer time than anticipated to find employment. Again, immigrants come face to face with a different culture, and accepting this change is a gradual process. All these factors leave little time and space for interactions that could create new friendships.
Steps to Making Social Connections
Social networks are essential for individuals and bring various benefits, including emotional support and better health. However, forming new relationships doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of deliberate, consistent efforts. Here are some tips to help you make new interpersonal connections as a newcomer.
Participate in Community Events
Various Canadian states host community gatherings that bring together people from diverse groups. From major events like the Aboriginal Festival and Calgary Stampede to smaller local gatherings like the annual Diwali Fest held by Indians in Calgary, there’s always an opportunity to mingle with people.
You can also find a neighborhood church or join a sports club. Volunteering in projects such as clean-ups and wildlife conservation also provides an excellent chance to meet like-minded people. Plus, you don’t have to spend much, especially if they are near your home.
Take Language Classes
The inability to communicate fluently is a big hurdle for immigrants, and enrolling in an English class is the first step toward breaking the language barrier. It’s an easy language to learn, and technology has made it much easier to grasp foreign languages.
With apps like Duo Lingo, you can start with the free basic option. You can access lessons from your smartphone anywhere, anytime, allowing you to determine your pace. Plus, there are many online classes and tutors to help you learn and improve your proficiency.
Utilize Digital Resources
Technology is a game-changer for human relations, and finding relevant online forums and social media groups is a great way to make new acquaintances. There’s probably a Facebook group bringing together immigrants from your country. Start by joining such groups and participate in discussions for better prospects.
With resources like video calls, you don’t have to worry about losing your connection with your family and friends back in your home country. While time differences might pose a challenge, you can create a workable schedule that allows you to communicate with your people abroad and keep the bonds strong.
People who’ve never stepped out of their birth country grapple with culture shock the first time they enter Canada. While you might disagree with different aspects of your new country, like dress code, cuisine, and religion, it pays to have an accommodating mindset.
Stereotypes and prejudices are like a mental form of blindness that prevents individuals from accepting those who don’t meet their perceived standards when it comes to race, gender, religion, or financial standing. Accepting people just as they are opens the door to more quality social connections.
Prioritize Self Care
Immigration is a delicate process marked with many ups and downs, and taking care of your mental health can help you face these challenges with more courage. You might encounter some ill-mannered people who exist in every society. These are just a minority and don’t represent the views of Canada as a whole.
So don’t allow occasional disappointment to get into you. Practice positive affirmations and cut yourself some slack. If others who came before you found a sense of belonging in this beautiful country, so will you. Don’t hesitate to reach out for professional counseling when necessary.
Canada’s welcoming nature provides a fertile ground for personal and professional growth. Take the time to explore, learn, and savor the unique experiences that this vibrant country offers. Nurture your aspirations, and recognize that building a fulfilling life is possible and an integral part of the immigrant story.