There are many reasons why expat assignments are cut short, but more often than not, the biggest challenge is sitting between your two ears.
Our minds are powerful things, the stories you tell yourself, the approach you adopt to your new life can either support you to maximise the opportunities abroad, or leave you miserable back at home.
Your mental health is an important part of your daily live, but when moving abroad, we often don't find time to take care of ourselves. For more information on Expat Depression head over the The Expat Survival Guide there is a fantastic series on how to notice it, and what to do if you are suffering from depression whilst living abroad. Click Here for more.
Here are 7 easy rituals even the busiest of us can incorporate to help improve your level of wellbeing.
1. Set Goals
Have a direction, or purpose to your day. We all need a reason to get us out of bed in the morning, and a project, or goal to work towards will help provide structure to your week. It doesn't have to be a career goal, it can be around your health, or family, but spend some time working out which direction you are heading this year.
At the end of last year I went to a graduation ceremony for our nanny, who had just completed her first year of her early years diploma. It reminded me how important it is to celebrate every small and big achievement, to press pause in your normal schedule, to dress up, and recognise our own achievements and those around us.
What can you celebrate this month, and who could you say well done too? Take time to recognise the effort and persistence you or those around you have made.
3. Seek out the Beauty - Journal
Living abroad gives us a wonderful opportunity to see the world afresh, to notice the small amazing things, that will quickly become the norm.
Try making space for a cup of tea each day, to practice gratitude. Its too easy to get dragged into the comparison game, noticing everything that is wrong with a culture or city. Try to turn this around and jot down 3 or more things that make you smile, that you are grateful for each and every day. Its amazing how this little act will change your mood. Its also really helpful on those days when you feel homesick to go back and read what you have written. Its surprising the impact it can have.
4. Create a Routine
How you start and end each day makes a huge difference to your wellbeing. Have you scheduled in activities that give you energy and make you feel good? Having a routine to fall back on will help to reintegrate you after guest leave, and give you the energy you need to get out of bed when returning back after a long trip back home. It goes without saying that exercise, healthy diet, and mediation all help improve your mental health but these things may take a little more time and extra support to implement into your weekly routine.
For our FREE WEEKLY PLAN PRINTABLE CLICK HERE
5. Be Accountable
I have loved running with our dog - and more recently have a personal trainer to help me with my health and fitness. I wouldn’t have achieved half the progress if it wasn’t for my running partner and personal trainer! Its amazing how much further you will go when you are accountable, or part of a group.
Who has your back? Who is challenging you to step out of your comfort zone whilst living in a new city? Is it time to join a new group, or gain an accountability partner?
6. Write a list
I am a big fan of writing lists. If you are too you will love the Bullet Journal created by the wonderful Carole mastermind behind Expat Child (click here to learn more). Whether you write a list in a diary or on a scrap of paper, here are 5 lists we often forget to make, and will help us become more organised, and face our fears of being accepted.
7 Create a playlist
There is actually science that proves the power of music on our level of wellbeing, elevating your mood and relieving symptoms of depression.
Go create a playlist to get you dancing around the room or singing along in the car now.
Which of these 7 rituals can you incorporate into your life abroad this week?
Want more tips on how to maximise your time abroad - don't miss our FREE Success Abroad video series,