So finally you are packing your bags and flying off to a new destination to start a fresh journey. Isn’t it a liberating experience? Though for many it can be very stressful, no matter how hard they desired for it. Leaving your home, and all the comforts attached to it are enough to make anyone homesick. It’s very difficult to adjust to the language barrier and inevitable cultural differences.
The unseen pressure of adapting to a new land, its customs, and lifestyle can sometimes be quite overwhelming. Life abroad is very demanding, and it can easily burden expats. The anxiety and stress associated with relocation adversely affects your mental health. Leaving them unresolved can lead to severe problems like depression. Globally, there is a sharp spike in depression cases in expats alone. Therefore individuals need to assess their strengths and weaknesses before they embark on a new adventure. This is crucial so they can prepare well in advance for all that is to come since expat life is not a bed of roses.
Here are 6 useful tips that can assist you in maintaining sound mental health, whenever you decide to move abroad to pursue your dreams.
1. Strike A Balance Between Work And Life
If you are moving to a new place due to an assigned job, it is very natural that you will end up spending most of your time working on your projects. Your social life will be compromised and so will your family life. It will leave you with burnout. Trying to meet your employer’s expectations and working endlessly to prove your mettle can exhaust you both mentally and physically.
The added stress of adjusting to the new workplace in a new country can further wreck your nerves. The only viable solution to this problem is striking the balance between work and life. No matter how demanding your job is or how committed you are; there should be a distinct demarcation between work and life. You have to find time for yourself and your family.
Create a routine in which you can designate time for yourself. Spend it doing things that you love to do. You will gradually see a notable difference in your mental well being.
2. Give Yourself Space To Adjust
Adapting to living an expat life is a gradual process. You cannot cross the chasm in a few strides. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Adjusting to a new place isn’t an easy task and will take time to do so. Things will be very different from what you were used to at home. Don’t get overwhelmed by the three c’s; cultural shock, cultural stress, and cultural surprise. Staying abroad, away from home does have its perks, but it is not like enjoying a long vacation. It can be mentally grueling, as you make your way fighting various obstacle.
3. Socialize And Build A Strong Social Network
As soon as you set your feet on foreign land, try to get accustomed to the local culture and customs, the sooner the better. Remember school always taught you to do in Rome as the Romans did. Start by interacting with people in your neighborhood and your workplace. Make friends with them. Similarly, connecting with fellow expats who have contributed to the expat scene in your new home will also boost your morale to face all the odds. Many of them will also be able to prove you the much-needed comfort when things get rough and you feel drained emotionally. Join various social groups that match your interests to make productive use of your leisure time. Having a strong support system can be vital in fighting the blues associated with expat living. You need to have familiar voices and faces to make yourself at ease when you are in a faraway land.
4. Try Aerobic, Cardio, or Other Forms of Exercises
It is commonly known that indulging in any form of physical exercise has a good effect on not just your physical self but also on your mental health. This is because exercising releases endorphins which are the feel-good hormone. They give you a feeling of happiness and goodness. Doing them regularly, can have positive impacts and help cure ADHD, depression, and anxiety. You may find it difficult to take time out, but once you get in the rhythm, you will love the goodness it imparts to your body.
4. Be Realistic In Your Approach
Setting realistic goals is very crucial for your sound mental health. You won’t do yourself good if you overpromise and undelivered. It is advisable to meet your employer’s expectations, but not at the cost of your health. Don’t overextend your capacity to meet unrealistic goals, for yourself and your employer. Have a methodic and rational approach to your goals. You must also be cautious about your strategies in achieving them. Also, don’t expect to immediately settle in your overseas role, as it will take time.
5. Indulge In Healthy Eating Patterns
You can never set a wrong foot with healthy eating. Indulge in healthy eating patterns, leaving your unhealthy traits behind you. Try to inculcate an organic lifestyle surrounding yourself with fresh juices, salads, lean meat, and ample greens to satiate your hunger.
The benefits of eating well are far more for the mental well being than they are for the physical body. Eating mindful meals improves your mind-body connection.
6. Seek Professional Help
In addition to the above-mentioned tips, you can always seek assistance to settle down in your new life and role. There are times when nothing seems to work out. This is where professionals can help you navigate through troubled waters. These are people trained to specifically help you in overcoming stress, depression, and anxiety surround ding your everyday life. They empathically listen and provide solutions. If mere counseling doesn’t seem to work, medications are used to address the conditions which have proven to be highly beneficial in most cases.