How to deal with stress when moving to China

Moving abroad is no easy feat. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with stress, so we invite you to share some insights regarding this topic.

What are the main factors that contribute to stress when moving to China (cultural adaptation, moving with family, administrative and bureaucratic issues, language differences, etc.)?

What activities would you recommend to help deal with this type of stress?

What are some techniques that have helped you deal with stress?

Is there a way to avoid being stressed out or anxious when moving to China?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


That is really a good question for people moving to other contries where lots of difference
existing and you manage to adapt to them.

But on the whole ,the Chinese citizens, especially those lving in big cities
like Shanghai, Beijing, Guanzhou,etc are very nice to foreingers and mostly
the people you meet will naturally speak Engllish with you as people in these
cities usually get better education and they like to help you when you do need
their information in the streets or public areas.
There are thousands of foreingers living in cities more years and some can
speak Mandarin(Putonghua) and some even can speak Shanghai Dialect.

And China is very very safe regareding the security.

For most westerner, language might be an initial issue. However, there are more than enough friendliness from the local (tier 1 cities) to overcome it. They will try their best to help via sign language or interesting translation apps to get close to what your need. The stress that I believe one would get and quite disturbing would be the social norm. Chinese (china in specific) thinks differently and their logic might appear weird to westerner, its due to lacking of understanding on the history and culture of this huge country plus previous distorted perception. Do stay open minded, try to see how your local friends and colleague get things done in their way, and many times you would be surprise to see better results. Do not insist too much of what your have used too all your life, surely this 1.4bil populated country would often widen your horizon in many aspects. Prepare to learn and appreciate, this would definitely for bare minimum, causing the least stress.

Moving overseas is bound to create a huge amount of stress for everyone involved. One way I have learned to deal with the stress is through my blog: The Bunch Abroad ([link moderated]. It is cathartic to write down all the feelings and experiences we have gone through in the 2 1/2 years we have been in China.

I would say that priority number one after you have settled down, is to find some kind of sparetime activity. I couldnt stay here without my weekly break going play football with a mix of both ther expats but also local. To interact with people through common interest, makes you relaxed and feel at home.

Chant Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo to relieve stress daily, hahaha, I do that now!

I don't know about other expats, but compared to the USA, China is a land without stress. Once you move, it is like a big heavy oily cloud has been lifted off your shoulders.

Moving abroad is always going to be a stressful event. Moving to China puts that stress in a league all its own. I have written many posts on my blog relating to adjusting to a life abroad. I hope to use them as a tool to help those who are considering or already living abroad.
Please feel free to visit to read my posts. Thank you!

Culture shock happens, but I agree with most of the threads above. China is a less stressful country to move in, especially big cities like Shanghai. Open you mind, open your heart, try everything and try to communicate more with locals even with who can only speak a little bit English. There will be a lot of fun and new experiences for you.

If you go with me dear Priscilla, no more stress  :)

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