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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Life in Korea: What to do When Korea (or anything else) Starts Getting on Your Nerves

The idea for this blog post came in November of 2012.  At the time, ugh, not sure I even want to waste precious time writing about the problems I was experiencing at that time.  Instead, I'll stay positive and write about what I did about it.

Being away from the comfort of the familiar is likely to become a challenge in any person's life at one point or another.  So what do you do about it?  Here's what I did.

1.  I kept in touch.  Having the support of friends and loved ones has proven to be invaluable in the mental health of all people, whether or not you're experiencing difficulties.  While the calls are sometimes expensive, having someone to talk to in person or on the other side of the other side of the line, who understands too, is great comfort.  Thank God for Skype!

2.  I prayed, often.  "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference".  Reinhold Niebuhr

3.  I got active.  Having a boost of endorphins does great for a better mood and perspective on things.  Oftentimes, I would go for a walk or jog to clear my mind.  Of late, I've been wanting to spend sometime at the gym.  I know my body NEEDS it.  This is absolutely easier with warmer weather but with winter on it's way, I'm going to need some extra mojo to get this going.  Lord, help me!

4.  I listened to great music.  My iTunes library is filled with all sorts of great music.  Everything from soul, to rock to hip hop, pop and reggae.  I'm talking Aretha Franklin, Martha Minuzzi, Jon B., India.Arie, Bob Marley.  Also, soca in an of itself is a great mood booster.   How can you fret when listening to the vibes of Machel Montano?

5.  I included myself.  Every so often it seems like I'm being excluded from something or another.  This may or may not be the case.  It's sometimes hard to tell when everyone and everything is rather new.  Rather than carry on about how my coworkers leave me out, I simply include myself, "I'd like to go". Whether you're with new people or old acquaintances, they'd more than likely include you after you say that.

6.  Read a book.  In the world we live in, books are very easily accessible.  Be it Kindle, Amazon or a hard copy, if reading is a favored past time, you can surely keep up with you hobby, even if your overseas.  Presently, I'm on my second reading of "Getting to Happy" Sequel to "Waiting to Exhale" by Terry McMillan.

7.  Pampered myself.  Every so often, I like to treat myself to a mani/pedi.  In Korea, this is relatively more expensive than in the US.  So, I've bought all the supplies and once a week, I'll give myself a fresh manicure and pedicure. It does me wonders. 

8.  Watched a funny movie.  Have you heard of ?  It's a great website for downloading movies, books, music.  I've been able to keep up with HIMYM.  I'm presently on season 8.  I've also been able to keep up with the popular GAME OF THRONES, and watch movies.

9.  Treated myself to something sweet.  With the many bakeries and coffee shops around, there is much options to satisfy a sweet tooth.  It's the little things that count.  Personally, I like the pastries at Paris Baguette here in Korea and hot chocolate from Cafe Bene.  Yum! 

10.  Introduced myself to someone new.  In Korea, people, foreigners and Koreans alike, are incredibly friendly.  If given the opportunity to introduce yourself to some new folks, DO IT!  I've met the acquaintance of people from all over the world.  Each time, I was so happy that I did. More than likely, you'll be happy you did too.

11.  Tea Time.  The idea of tea time was initially, idk boring.  However, after having tea with a fellow teacher, it's one of my favorite things to do.  May has a fancy tea brewer and she has tea in leaves not bags, so this made for incredibly fresh peppermint tea.  Coupled with biscuits and good conversation, I found much satisfaction from this.  I had tea with another teacher friend, it was good but not the same as having your tea made fresh.

12.  Had a drink.  I bought a bottle of Bacardi with me (duty free at the airport) to Korea.  It's been 8 months and every so often, I'd like to have a swig of it, even if just for the sake.  I finished the bottle tonight.  Time to get another.

13.  Took a vacation.  This totally helped me reset.  I went to Miami and spent a week catching up with my cousins and taking care of business.  We partied, partied, partied.  I ate at Subways at least 5 times that week.  I sold my car and saw some dolphins dance at the Miami Seaquarium.

14.  Re-decorated my apartment.  I do this from time to time, just cause its fun.  Moving furniture around for me is like looking at things from a different perspective.  Yup!  It's all in how you look at it.

Whether your in Korea for a year or longer, I'm sure that somewhere along the line, one of these suggestions will come in handy.

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