• published on 3/24/2023
  • 4min

How to Deal with Stress as an Expat

Life as an expat can be very stressful, made worse by pressuring ourselves to be productive all the time. In reality, this is not realistic.

How to Deal with Stress as an Expat

There are measures you can take to reduce stress, such as staying in touch with loved ones back home, or scheduling in time for your hobbies. This can leave you feeling fresh and ready to take on your commitments.

Continue reading to discover more about how you can deal with expat stress.

Stay in touch with loved ones

Living away from family and friends can be difficult, but luckily technology makes it possible to stay in touch after moving abroad. Organise a time to video-chat with your loved ones – this can lift your spirits when you’re feeling stressed.

Regular contact will help you maintain important relationships back home. Just chatting about everyday moments can provide relief from stress, and give those back home an opportunity to learn more about your new life abroad.

It offers a good distraction to hear about your friends’ lives as well. You can focus on something positive rather than the endless to-do list that is always at the forefront of your mind.

Also, you could suggest for your family and friends to visit you in the host country. You can show them around your home and get them to experience a different way of life.

Make time for your hobbies

Another way to reduce stress is to make time for hobbies, such as reading or exercising. Even though it might feel like extra effort, it can actually do wonders for your mood.

Scheduling in time for hobbies allows you to develop skills without feeling stressed. Once you feel re-energised, you feel less overwhelmed by your responsibilities.

It is important to give yourself time to relax, as it is unhelpful to always force yourself to be productive. Why not ask some friends to join you in some activities? This way, you can talk with others while partaking in something fun.

Living abroad could also be a chance to begin a new hobby. This could be a local sport or activity that appealed to you since moving overseas, or simply something you have not had time to start before.

Create a plan

Planning can help you keep on top of tasks throughout the day. It is also satisfying to tick duties off your to-do list once completed.

Each morning, write down your goals for the day, or create one on your smart device. A benefit of using your phone is that the list is easily accessible; you’re also less likely to misplace it, as most people usually have their phone to hand.

Only writing down tasks for the day ahead means you’re not staring at a long list of tasks that are impossible to accomplish in a single day.

You can also stay organised by keeping to a budget, as this will stop you worrying about money. There are apps you can use to track and manage your spending that will help you not overspend, as well as save.

It might benefit you to be strict with your allocated working hours. This means you can unwind at the end of the day and give your brain a chance to concentrate on something other than your obligations.

Try to think positively

When you go through a stressful period, it’s easy to forget to reward yourself for hard work. But it’s important to celebrate all your successes.

Share in your accomplishments with loved ones too – it’s good to feel proud when you’ve achieved something you’ve been working towards. It might be an idea to keep a record of your accomplishments to reflect on in particularly stressful moments.

Try to organise your goals into manageable and realistic chunks as well. Approaching a task in small portions can make it feel less daunting. Once you have completed several parts of the job, you can start to appreciate your progress.

Thinking positively can be applied to your life as a whole. For instance, take a moment to explore your new destination if you’re still adjusting to life abroad. Seeing everything the area has to offer can help put your worries into perspective.