How to cope with stress when moving abroad: useful tips
Each of us can experience stress of moving abroad because it is a rather energy-consuming process. Find out more about what can cause stress abroad and how to avoid it
Most expats, planning to move abroad, believe that changing their place of residence is an exciting experience. Undoubtedly, life in a new country is full of positive moments: new landscapes, nature, culture, it is also a great opportunity to experience personal development, travel to new places, maybe even learn a new language and learn to cook local cuisine. However, quite often migrants feel loneliness, anxiety and sadness due to the fact that they lose something in their homeland: relatives, friends, the usual rhythm of life.
What can cause stress abroad? But how can it be avoided? Read on.
• Lots of changes happening at the same time
In the life of an expat, many changes occur at once: home, work, environment. Even if you feel calm and organized, such drastic changes can cause considerable stress.
Solutions: It can be helpful to talk to someone about how you're feeling, but choose someone who listens and doesn't judge.
• The end of an old period in life
Whenever something comes to an end, our imagination often romanticizes this period of life. Therefore, in the future, when certain obstacles will await you in a new place, they will seem more tragic to you. In the same way, this principle works with things in your life that may have upset and annoyed you before. For example, a job that has been boring for a long time can suddenly seem like the best job. Such thoughts often add stress to an expat when moving.
Ways to solve: Write a list of events that prompted you to move to a new country, how you justified the need to move. If there are negative events in your life or work that contributed to the change of residence, do not forget to indicate them as well. Write down what you did not like in your past life.
• Loss of family support
Most of us get used to our surroundings and often take the support of our surroundings for granted. We can get so used to family, friends, and colleagues understanding us without question that we don't even realize how much support it gives us. When moving abroad, the connection with loved ones becomes weaker, which can significantly affect the emotional state.
Solutions: tell relatives about your feelings, ask them for support, try to keep in touch with relatives and friends using Skype and phone calls. Also look for friends in a new country: attend expat meetings, look for clubs based on your interests. Establish contact with colleagues at work. It is important to have people you can turn to for help in an emergency.
• A large number of things that need to be done before moving
Preparing for moving is a complex moral and physical process. Before migrating abroad, you need to do many things that you have not done before: check your health, purchase medical insurance, and draw up the necessary documents. For a successful move, make sure that the visa you receive matches the purpose of the move and that all documents are in order.
Solutions: Start preparing in advance, make a to-do list and solve at least one organizational task per day.
To avoid unnecessary stress, before moving, seek advice from a qualified immigration lawyer, a specialist will help you understand the peculiarities of the legislation of the new country, tell you about the main subtleties and answer all your questions.
• Culture shock
The disorientation that a person may feel when faced with a new way of life or a new set of beliefs and attitudes to which they are accustomed. It most often occurs when an expat gets used to different etiquette, traditions and food.
Solutions: You can overcome this stress if you are more open to new things, maybe read about the culture and traditions of the new country before moving, learn more about the local cuisine. If you feel depressed all the time due to culture shock or if it lasts much longer than it seems normal, then you should consult a psychologist.
Try to think from different points of view. It can be fun to think of three people you admire and keep asking yourself how they would see it or what they would do.
When we are preparing to move abroad and the first time after moving are times when the mind can be very obsessed with thinking about the past and the future. Concentrate on what makes you happy today, pay attention to pleasant moments and events. If you feel that you cannot cope on your own, seek help from specialists.
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