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How to get the best out of your waiting time

Waiting time as an asylum seeker can be quite stressful, but I am giving you the recipe for how to “survive” this difficult time in a less excruciating way. In this guide you can find several things to do, to make your waiting time easier.

Story and pictures by Mila

No doubt it is difficult to escape to another country and try to create a new life. This process is almost like climbing steep stairs in a high building without an elevator. And the long waiting time is not making it easier. I have been waiting for more than eight years – and I am still waiting.

How to overcome ‘the stairs’
When you come to Denmark as an asylum seeker the future is unclear for you. You have to start over and find out where you are going to live, work, study and other daily stuff. For me the waiting time for the decision from the Danish Immigration Service was definitely the hardest one. Basically because you can never know how long it will take. six months, one year or many years…

But how to survive this waiting time? It is time to share how I conquered the long wait without losing hope. My own experiences gave me a huge opportunity to create the recipe for dealing with the waiting time. However, here are some strategies that worked for me and they might also work for you. I hope you enjoy reading it and can use the advices for yourself.

It might seem impossible but remember the wise words of Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it is done”.

1) Use your time reasonable – explore everything about Denmark
Everything is new for you when you come to Denmark. Therefore it is an amazing idea to use the waiting time to explore the Danish culture, the history of Denmark and the overall life of the Danish people. No doubt it is always useful to begin with small daily things like to find out the value of the Danish krone, where you can find cheap markets for shopping and how you can travel in Denmark. Getting a grip on your new everyday life can remove your nervousness about the new country you have just arrived to and make you less worried for the future.

2) Learn Danish
It can be pretty stressful when you cannot explain yourself or even understand what people say around you. Learning the language is the best way to begin integration and to start being a part of the community.  When you use your waiting time to learn Danish it will be easier for you when you get your residence permission. Danish is a difficult language to learn, my advice is not to give up. It might seem impossible but remember the wise words of Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it is done”.

3) Get close to nature
Research reveals that environments can reduce our stress and contact with nature makes people happier and healthy. Being in the nature increases pleasant feelings and also contributes to our physical well-being. So what is better than to have a walk in the small Danish forests? You can explore the nature and see what kinds of flowers and trees are growing in Denmark. In the end of your walk you will quietly feel the inner calmness.

4) Read a good book
Another thing that helped me through the waiting time was reading books. It depends on which literary genre you like to read but no doubt you will always get something good out of it. You can have a calm day with a nice book and actually get a huge knowledge without even changing location. If you are new in learning Danish then it is a good idea to begin with easy books as children books. Otherwise librarians are always helpful with finding a great book for you.

5) Social activities
One of the important things for me is to make a network. When spending time with your friends it is like the waiting time seems shorter. Therefore making network is almost necessary. There is a lot ways to meet new people. For example you do not only improve your health when you are going to physical activity but also your social life. Or working as volunteer can give you opportunity to make huge network. The support you get from your friends are always helpful for your patience in waiting time.

6) Be optimistic
Although waiting time can provide frustration it requires being an optimist. Being an optimist means that you hope and believe in the best will happen and that you look on the future with a smile. It will make you free from all your stress. The important fact is that you have to see the bright side of the case. I was thinking by myself that I have to use my waiting time reasonable because no matter how old you are it is a lot of thing you can do in your spare time.  Think about your waiting time as your spare time and give your best shot for enjoying it.

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