Troubles of the lonely expat.

Being all alone could sometimes lead down a narrow path to depression. Here’s a warm hug to let you know that you aren’t the only one.

The trip over to a new country is often dressed with exciting opportunities and new challenges. Usually poised as a positive outlook on a new journey, many stray away from the evidently negative issues tagging along.

Not talked about as often as it should be; expats have reported feeling depressed during the first two years of their stay in a new country. Some suffer depression as a result of strain on marital relationships, others on job stability. Most of the time, it’s the displacement that drives the sharp knife in losing one’s self, making them feel all alone.

Being in a completely new environment means change is inevitable. What more a new country. To fit with the new environment, sometimes expats feel the need to change themselves.

New country, new restrictions. New culture, new considerations. Bit by bit, you start losing yourself in the haze of progress. The rush and confusion that follows, pave way for displacement and regret, leaving you longing for a past constant.

New Country, Same Me.

When one goes abroad, it has been argued that there is importance in bringing as much along emotionally as possible. Although it might feel better to ‘start fresh’, what we bring along will help keep a steady mind in the future. Hobbies, connections and the environment of your current abode, be it a rented apartment or a shared home, are factors that can contribute to a healthy state of mind.

As much as you can help it, you should always orientate your serviced apartment or house to suit the comfortability of home (back home). No matter how ephemeral it may be. Where you choose to refocus needs to be a fixed constant in life, a place that you know will always be stable in a volatile world; a place that you can call home.

Another factor people tend to overlook are the activities we once did to past the time. I’m talking about hobbies. Be it football, knitting or even painting, keeping these activities in our calendar is essential in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

We often make the mistake of pushing everything aside when it comes to impressing the workplace. One month becomes two and before you know it, you’ll find yourself saying, ” Wow, I sure haven’t done that in a while.”

So keep to it and engage yourself in hobbies, both new and old! A quick google search could even lead to the discovery of related ongoings around you. You might find a group of like-minded individuals interested in a new friend.

Keep your friends close.

Ah… friends…How you’ve missed them so. Leaving a family to move abroad means having to make new ones. While you’re doing so, it’s an important point to keep in contact with those who mean the most. Displacement happens for many reasons. As social beings, we need a social community to depend upon for emotional and psychological support. Moments are transient, so get on a video call – such as Facebook Messenger or Google Duo, and go talk to your mum! (or whoever your best friend is).

On that note, it’s natural for some of us to instantly long for companionship in any form from the get-go. Perhaps hold off for a bit. Don’t make David a ‘blood-brother’ just because he invited you for a beer. Hold your cool and be yourself. With a positive mindset and calm nature, your energy will take care of fate. So keep that chin up and brush off your shoulders. Help is there to be found. You just have to look for it.