10 self-care tips for expats

Moving to a new country for a new job, schooling, visit with a new language to master sometimes is not for the faint-hearted! But sometimes this is a flair for adventure, a life changing and enriching experience for those with an enterprising spirit.

Here are some ways to begin the cultural yet professional  journey on the right foot:

  1. Utilise the Internet: Ensure that you research blogs and read beforehand to avoid any unnecessary surprises. Google blogs written by other expats in your specific region. Remember every city or town and state have different cultures. 
  1. Change your routine: This is one of the major healthy tips for expats. It is important to know that your routine will change when you move to a foreign country. There is a need for immediate and regular physical activity. Get out of your comfort zone; ensure you are challenging yourself to push your limits every day, you will definitely feel better about yourself. Your self-confidence and perspective will be improved and enlightened. A healthy body can make a healthy mind. 
  1. Ask for advice: Join online communities and ask for advice well before you go, ensure to find out about what issues you’re likely to encounter in your chosen destination. 
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  1. Set some work-life boundaries: In a situation where you are working or even schooling, don’t compromise on quality time with your family whether online or in-person, also doing other things that are important to you.
  1. Indulge In Healthy Eating Patterns: Healthy eating cannot be overemphasized. Leave your unhealthy traits behind you and Indulge in healthy eating patterns. Try to inculcate the lifestyle that allows you to surround yourself with fresh juices, lean meat, salads, and ample greens to satisfy your hunger. The benefits of eating well and mental well being also go hand in hand as they do to the physical body. 
  2. Seek Professional Counsel: Self-care can be professional counseling. If you are always feeling stressed or are constantly overwhelmed, find a local and certified therapist or member of your faith who can help you create a healthy way forward. Many of the mental health practitioners have virtual sessions or offices. This new option is convenient, private and can reduce any shame or stigma one might be feeling. Expat life can be a roller-coaster, and there shouldn’t be any shame or stigma if you need a bit of help to manage it all.
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  1. Practice mindfulness and gratitude: We aren’t always able to control how things turn out, but by being aware of the present moment and tuning into the positives, we can increase our levels of satisfaction. You can get yourself started by writing down one thing you’re grateful for each day, or create a happiness jar. You can become aware of your environment while you´re walking down the street.
  2. Keep a piece of home: One of the best things about moving to a new country is how much your life changes overnight and how everything becomes new. However, while change is a great part of expat life, you still need a touch of home from time to time. So, when preparing for your move abroad, be sure to include a few sentimental objects– even if you’re packing light. These familiar things will not only help you from homesickness but also ensure that you remain centred whenever you find your new life challenging.
  1. Avoid unhealthy habits: After relocation, it’s natural that one would want to explore everything it has to offer. For many expats, that often includes sampling the local nightlife with new friends and acquaintances. However, be aware that all those late nights can take a toll on your mental health. It can lead to excessive alcohol and drug intake, lack of sleep and hangovers, it can quickly impact your physical and mental well-being. This kind of lifestyle can also lead some expats to adopt addictive tendencies, which can then cause further issues. Therefore, try to prioritise mental health and avoid indulging in unhealthy habits.
  2. Develop flexibility: You usually would come across moments of cultural misunderstandings, things getting lost in translation and situations where culture shock makes you feel like you want to bang your head up against the wall. To deal with just this kind of situation, you can learn to journal these things to tell loved ones and even make it blog-worthy for informing people. Blogging/journaling will help you cultivate flexibility by realising that you can make it a good story or express yourself or even understand people’s differences out of whatever mishaps and inconveniences cross my path.  Find a way to create this frame of mind yourself. It can be fun and helps you calm down. Remember you can also share with friends or family by speaking if you don’t like so much writing.

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Bola Akinola
Bola Akinola

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