Feeling It in Shanghai

By Carrie Jones, LCSW

Welcome to Shanghai for those of you who are newly arrived and welcome back for those of you who are returning!  How do I even begin to capture all the feelings you might be experiencing?  Emotions and responses to life here are as varied as each unique expat here, depending on countless factors such as personality, past experiences, and current life circumstances.  Thus, it’s almost impossible to try to make an exhaustive list of the range of emotions you may feel.  I thought it might be helpful though to try to summarize at least a few of the common feelings associated with the Shanghai experience, so here’s what I came up with.  See if you can relate.

On good days                                                 On tough days

Satisfied                                                           Sad

Happy                                                                Homesick

Accomplished                                                  Annoyed

Nurtured                                                           Nervous

Grateful                                                            Giant*

Hopeful                                                             Helpless

Active                                                                Angry

Involved                                                            Isolated

*I realize that giant isn’t typically an emotion, but trust me when I say that it is something that many of us here feel at least on occasion!

Of course, reality is that days here are rarely as straight-forward, linear, and simple as either of these acrostics.  More likely, you will experience a mixture of emotions from each list on any given day (or hour!) and that’s perfectly okay and normal.  Remember to be patient with yourself and remember that even though we are all very different, we’re still all in this together.  Let others celebrate with you on the good days and help support you on the not so good days – and be sure to be available to do this for those around you too!  If you find yourself struggling with negative or challenging feelings, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.  CCS has a team of qualified, professional counselors here to assist you.  For more information, see our website, www.communitycenter.cn/counseling or email counseling@communitycenter.cn.  Best wishes whether you are just starting or continuing your journey here!

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