Happy Teacher, Happy Students!

One of the hardest parts about being a teacher in China is not the students, not the parents, and not even the crazy administration. It’s learning how to maintain your sanity and peace of mind while surrounded by frustrating situations.

When you were in your home country, maybe you had some problems in life, we all do. However, when you move to a new country, problems you never knew existed start to sprout up like a garden full of weeds! Most of the time, you’re so enamored and amazed by the newness that you don’t start to notice until it’s too late and the weeds have strangled out all the beauty in your life.

Going to the bank, shopping, making friends, how to cross the street without getting run over… and many more challenges await you!

So how to deal with these problems?

Find PRODUCTIVE ways to deal with your stress and frustrations. Often times just talking about it will help relieve some of the pressure. HOWEVER, be wary if this is the only topic you find yourself talking about, you will isolate people and even anger some. Instead of sympathizing people will say, “IF you don’t like it here, go back to your own country!”

So, what are other ways you can deal with it?

Meditate. Yoga. Massages. Aromatherapy. Nature walks. Mountain Climbing. Didn’t do these back home? Time to try something new.

Spending time with friends – But usually this leads to going out and drinking and spending money that you might be trying to save. Also, there’s a slippery slope of alcoholism hiding behind every corner in China because drinking till you drop is a culturally acceptable pastime.

In some cities there are some healthy and fun activities that take place in day time hours, shopping markets, food festivals, photo walks, music concerts, gaming groups, car clubs, laser tag, VR game shops, coffee shops and more! Try finding a chinese friends who can help you find these types of places, or search in WeChat groups OR search online forums.

If you can’t find something then START something. Having some friends outside of work will go a long way to help your sanity AND start to improve your Chinese if you go out more and keep your ears open!

Picnic in the park? Sounds good!

Treat yourself – Yes, of course, it’s good to try to fit in to the local culture. Find some tea shops, study gongfu, calligraphy or guzheng. Another fun thing to do is try different foods at restaurants and blog about it for your friends and family back home (OMG I ate chicken feet!)

BUT after you’re done learning about all that, you will start to have some cravings…. ro jia mos are delicious, but wouldn’t you like to grill your OWN hamburgers… and sure, green tea is healthy, but can you remember the flavor of Dr. Pepper?

No 肉夹馍 can substitute for this!

That’s when it’s time to start asking “old-timers” for the hookups! People who have been here long enough will love to share these amazing finds with you! And luckily these days, all these great services (Cheese, sausages, Craft Beer, Organic, Home-cooked, Vegan and more!) are available via WeChat!

The best for me is to live with a balance, combining some new foods and habits learned in China while enjoying the comforts of home. This is the key for me to enjoy living and working in China as long as I have (since 2006.)

In order to help teachers feel relaxed and happy, we will bring new products and services and partners to our network!

Check out our new Teacher’s Treat pages to see some items that will make you happy!

Go Look Now

Leave a comment and tell us how you stay sane in China!

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