Multiple research all over Europe have shown how unemployment has a direct effect on people’s health. Both your physical and mental health are affected by unemployment and integration. Do not overlook the very basics of your health like sleep, nutrition or physical activity. Job hunting may become the only thing you want to focus on, but the lack of basic care might create a vicious circle making you less capable to look properly for a job, and therefore feeling more stressed and more inclined to neglect your sleep or other basic routines and so on. Don’t either overlook the consequences of your new Finnish environment on your health. The lack of sun and the climate directly affect your energy levels. Many Finns take vitamins and have a doctor following them when the autumn comes. Don’t hesitate to mention these to your doctor.
Do not overlook either your own mental health. Changing country, going through major changes in your personal life such as a marriage or children, unemployment, integration process, all these things that are “normal” in your life are major stress factors. Anxiety, depression, stress are very common among immigrants, especially unemployed ones. Make plans, break down problems into smaller issues, spend time and share your experience with others. Don’t hesitate to get professional help, and to talk about your mental state with your doctor. Some of our participants have expressed guilt and shame in feeling depressed or overwhelmed. “I should be happy to be here”, “the conditions here are way better than before” “this is a good place for my kids”. All these reflections are very common but can’t overtake how you actually feel. Being depressed, sad, angry, frustrated is a normal and common thing, and you have the right to have these feelings and emotions. Don’t reject them.