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Old 15.06.2011, 16:32
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How do you combat the loneliness?

I hope this doesn't sounds like a "poor me" question, in general I am loving life here.

However, after the initial, "Wow, everything is new and interesting", I'm definitely missing that sense of belonging or being part of a community, and sometimes feel quite alone. What was the most helpful step you are taking/took to create that sense of belonging in your life here?
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Old 15.06.2011, 16:33
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

I joined the English Forum.

After that, everything else fell into place.

Start by coming to an event. You might enjoy it or you might not. Sooner or later, though, you're sure to meet people whose company you enjoy. The more people you meet, the more people you know, and before you know it you'll be part of a community of sorts.
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Old 15.06.2011, 16:35
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

Getting a job with wonderful Swiss people who help me everyday making me feel I chose well to live in this country.

No matter how many complains I have, how angry I feel towards deception, racism, intolerance in this country, it makes me feel wonderful to notice I have a good place to be during the week

*fights to not get up and start smooching the whole office*
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Old 15.06.2011, 16:43
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

Hi - no idea of your age and where you live exactly, or the sort of job you do - but if I can be of any help, I am up the road in the Jura. Have you thought of joining A Migros school class- they do all sorts, form jewellery making to belly dancing, and of course language classes. Lots of sports clubs too, for cycling, walking, nature, etc. There are several animal shelters in the area that are always looking for volunteers to help walk the dogs, etc, and many other organisations where you can volunteer. Have you been to any of the events organised for Neuchatel members at Le Café des Cerfs, etc.
Hope you feel better soon. I am Neuchatel born and bred, but lived in UK for a very long time, so it was hard at first.
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Old 15.06.2011, 17:19
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

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I joined the English Forum.

After that, everything else fell into place.

Start by coming to an event. You might enjoy it or you might not. Sooner or later, though, you're sure to meet people whose company you enjoy. The more people you meet, the more people you know, and before you know it you'll be part of a community of sorts.
Seconded. but still the message is too short
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Old 15.06.2011, 17:31
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

I really put some effort into the language skills so I could communicate with my neighbours. Being able to chat with them made a huge difference to the sense of being a part of the community here.
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Old 15.06.2011, 17:54
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

One of your tags says it all: be proactive and take up hobbies that get you in touch with people, like teamsports or take up crafting and come to the Stitch-n-bitch group in Lausanne. I made wonderful friends that way and feel much more at home in Switzerland (still don't feel like I belong here but you gotta start somewhere ).
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:05
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

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One of your tags says it all: be proactive and take up hobbies that get you in touch with people, like teamsports or take up crafting and come to the Stitch-n-bitch group in Lausanne. I made wonderful friends that way and feel much more at home in Switzerland (still don't feel like I belong here but you gotta start somewhere ).
anyone know whether there is a knit-n-bitch group in Zurich please?
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:18
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

It's sad to say..... but "Be a little more Swiss" and plan things in advance.

The key things I found were:
  • Join in social activities to develop a new network of people.
  • Learning enough German to stumble by
  • Recognising when you will be on your own, and plan something in advance.

You may feel on your own here, but we all were at one stage..... and you DEFINITELY are not Robinson Crusoe here.

As DB said, check out the social pages and just invite yourself along to a few events.

Just get started, and everything will fall into place.
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:20
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

My Swiss sports club is great. It's been the best way to immerse myself in Swiss culture. Team members are even beginning to joke about my being American, which I see as major progress, whew!

En plus, having four children in the local schools always helps!

(When I lived abroad for the first time, I was pregnant and in my early thirties. I was less prepared for the loneliness, and my language skills were even worse back then. I joined lots of English speaking groups. That helped in the short term, but if you really want to be part of your surroundings, you have to be braver than that!)
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:22
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

Yup.... All has been said above.
Even if you don't want to go out because you perhaos feel shy, push yourself to meet people.
I've noticed that Kamarate has organized some events and she's in Neuchâtel too. Meeting a friendly EFer is a good start.

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Old 15.06.2011, 18:24
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

Get involved in theatre. Then you'll realise no matter how screwed up you might feel, there's nutters out there who are needier than even you. Like me for example.

(And you get applauded for it).
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:27
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

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One of your tags says it all: be proactive and take up hobbies that get you in touch with people, like teamsports or take up crafting and come to the Stitch-n-bitch group in Lausanne. I made wonderful friends that way and feel much more at home in Switzerland (still don't feel like I belong here but you gotta start somewhere ).
So! Where does the 'stitch and bitch' group meet?
I've had years of practice and am pretty good at both.
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:33
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

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So! Where does the 'stitch and bitch' group meet?
I've had years of practice and am pretty good at both.
You can find all info about our meetings and outings here:

http://www.stitchnbitchlausanne.net

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Old 15.06.2011, 18:38
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

Can't remember where I saw this, but someone I knew was in a similar position and started a jogging group in their hometown with the difference that one only spoke English during the run. They kind of taught English whilst jogging and the locals that showed up had a net benefit and you get onto first name terms straight away, which is called-win-win. Guess that you could do the same with more static pastimes as well.
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:39
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

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anyone know whether there is a knit-n-bitch group in Zurich please?
I don't know about SnB groups in Zürich but glocals and ravelry.com might help you further.
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Old 15.06.2011, 19:12
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

Another tip I will give is to stop fighting the loneliness and learn to enjoy your own company too.

Meeting people and building friendships take time. Relationships are not formed overnight. It takes investment and effort. When you are all alone in a foreign land, with your support network behind, you tend to to hungrier for friendships than you would in your own comfort zone. You take alot of BS which you normally wouldnt do for fear of "offending" your new friends. Dont. Give it time and you will slowly build up a small group of friends that you will be comfortable with - just like any other country.

Sorry if it sounds really negative - just speaking from personal experience

Another tip is to keep an open mind. You'll be surprised at how friendships form with the most unlikely people. My friends here are completely and utterly different from my friends back home, but we get on like house on fire.
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Old 15.06.2011, 20:19
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

Thanks everyone for your ideas (and your compassion).

I think I need to be patient (deep friendships take time no matter where I am) and keep putting myself out there (despite my inner introvert).

I've been taking intensive french for six months and that has certainly helped. I think partially I'm missing that ability to communicate as an adult would, that sense of purpose that I had when working full-time (counselling with mediocre french doesn't work so well), and the possibilities that are opened up with expendible income. But, maybe I just need to be more creative...

Fortunately my husband and I have each other (though sometimes that backfires since we're both introverts..."what do you want to do? Stay in? Me too!") Lame. Do others find that it is harder to make friends when you are "coupled"?
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Old 15.06.2011, 20:27
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

the best is to join some kind of club, sports or otherwise...
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Old 15.06.2011, 20:33
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Re: How do you combat the loneliness?

one good way is to connect with people and get moving. the forum is a good start, but you can either start an event on your own or begin to visit other parts and contact members from that area or attend events in that area. the more you get out and make contact with others, be it knitting, concerts, reading clubs, etc the more at home you'll begin to feel.
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