Adjusting to life as a newly arrived expat

Published:  6 Sep at 6 PM
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Tagged: Money, Emigration
The demands of expatriation can often result in physical and emotional health problems, with well-being put on the bank burner in the pursuit of money and success.

Many would-be expats don’t realise that what’s good for the bank balance can be bad for overall health due to the stress of adapting to a new environment and lifestyle whilst taking on the demands of a new job. The last thing on most new arrivals’ minds is a healthy lifestyle, but not taking care of all your physical and emotional needs can make adjustment to your new situation far harder than it needs to be.

Signs that all is not well include a lack of energy, relationship issues at work and at home, chronic tiredness, resentment at a lack of ‘me time’, depression and lack of sleep. All this, especially at a time you’re expected to be showing you’re exactly the right person for the job, can cause a massive loss of confidence in your own ability, leaving you wondering if you should have just stayed in your home country. If you’ve emigrated with your partner and family, they’ll also be affected by your obvious discomfort and disillusion in addition to having adjustment problems of their own.

The first thing to remember is that settling down in an unfamiliar country, especially if you’re not fluent in the language, takes time and at least some effort. Secondly, getting used to new foods can affect your energy levels until your body gets used to unfamiliar ingredients. Eating healthily isn’t just all about fitness, as your diet feeds your mind as well as your muscles. Avoiding the temptation to drink too much as a way to circumvent depression is essential, as it’s now well-known that excess alcohol causes the very symptom you’re trying to lose! Taking up meditation or relaxation classes is far more effective against depression and sleep problems as well as finding you new friends, and joining a gym is another option.
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