Moving to a new country is an adventure filled with excitement, anticipation, and endless possibilities. We go from navigating immigration paperwork, finding a place to call home and adapting to a new culture. It’s a whirlwind of practical and logistical challenges. Yet, as we’re settling into a new life abroad, there’s one crucial aspect that is often overlooked: expat mental health.

Despite the glossy portrayal of expat life on social media, the reality is far more complex, with expats facing a wheel of emotional hurdles along the way.

It’s an emotional rollercoaster ride. Feelings of insecurity, loneliness, and culture shock leave you with unexpected challenges.

In this blog post, I want to talk about the often unspoken but important topic of expat mental health. Offering key tips to maintaining mental well-being in the midst of settling in and thriving in your life abroad.

Thriving abroad: Navigating the Emotional Rollercoaster of Expat Life - expat mental health

Expat mental health – Underestimating its importance when moving abroad

When you move to a new country, your mental health isn’t really your first priority. But expat mental health is a topic that, in my opinion, is not spoken about enough.

Yes you’ve got immigration paperwork to complete, accommodation to find and job searching to do.

Transition is always challenging, the emotional rollercoaster can really take us by surprise as we rebuild our lives in a new place. Insecurity, loneliness, shame, guilt, regret. These are just some of the emotions that many of us face.

All the layers that we experience as an expat mean the mental challenges we experience are exacerbated. We all go through it at some point. Whether it’s on a small scale or a large scale, it’s it’s such a shared experience.

It doesn’t matter if you are moving to a similar country, with the same language, same music and the same movies. Expressions may be different, culture may differ, so you are still left asking ‘why am I struggling so much?’

Thriving abroad: Navigating the Emotional Rollercoaster of Expat Life - how to look after your mindset

How do we look after our mindset and mental wellness after moving to a new country?

It’s a real challenge to to prioritize it all. There’s so many other areas that come into play when you move to a new country. You need to get your kids into school, you need to buy a house, you need to do all of the logistical things.

And that’s way more important than writing in a journal about how you feel right?

You need to focus on all the areas of moving abroad and your emotional wellness is one of the huge key areas that you may just put to the side as not as important.

But, it’s probably the most important. It’s that base, that stability in your own mind for thriving in your expat life to be to be a success in the long run.

If you want to solve the problems, you need mental stability. If you want to prioritize your kids and their transition you need mental stability.

So how do you build that mental stability when you’re in that emotional roller coaster? How do you build emotional wellness in?

Self-Care Practices:

Prioritize self-care activities such as journaling, cook your favorite dish from home, find ways to make your new expat life feel like home and create a support system.

Community Building:

Build a support network of fellow expats and locals to combat isolation.

Counseling:

Utilize professional support for mental well-being, such as an expat psychologist.

Flexibility and Patience:

Be patient with the adjustment process and recognize the need for time to adapt.

Thriving abroad: Navigating the Emotional Rollercoaster of Expat Life - Pinterest

What’s important to remember?

As expats, it’s easy to feel like we’re navigating the challenges of expat life alone. The emotional rollercoaster of moving to a new country can be overwhelming, leaving us questioning our decisions. However, it’s important to remember that we’re not alone in this journey.

We dare to move to a different country. We think that’s obvious we moved to a different country so we should do this and this.

But hey, you moved to a different country, that’s another level. Not many in the world do it, up to 15% stay for a year and only 6-8% stay for up to 5 years.

Not many people do what we do. We are brave.

Whether it’s addressing feelings of loneliness, overcoming culture shock, or finding strategies to cope with the uncertainties of expat life, an expat psychologist can provide valuable guidance and support.

Together, we can navigate the highs and lows of expat life and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before.

Find out more about my methods and approach here.

Do you want to know more about on how to overcome Limiting Beliefs of life abroad? Check my Workshop here

Searching for useful and effective strategies? Download my 9 Tools to overcome Expat Anxiety Freebie

Want your 30-Minute Free Consultation? Book Here! and let’s start the road to the expat life YOU want to live!

Check the testimonials of clients living the life abroad they want!

By your side,

Gabriela

If you are an expat who wants to live a joyful, successful and fulfilled international​ life, Gabriela is the Licensed Psychologist and Mentor you need.

She helps you reclaim your self-confidence back and design your expat life in your own terms. Gabriela has more than 20 years of professional experience, speaks 3 languages (sometimes in one sentence, like you!) and has supported more than 400 expats overcome anxiety and burnout, build meaningful relationships and enjoy their international lives, wherever they are, wherever they are heading.

Gabriela supports expats in Spanish, English and German and also offers workshops and talks for companies.