Expats in Germany advised to not become their own worst enemies

Published:  25 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Germany, Jobs
Expats in Germany are being warned over anxiety and stress.

As news about the present status of the COVID -19 pandemic overwhelms international media outlets, expat professionals living and working in Germany are being urged not to let stress and anxiety take over their lives.

For expats, tough times lie ahead as the news worsens and individual countries’ measures to control the outbreak become ever more drastic as regards their effects on everyday life. Isolation as well as concern for family and friends is hitting on expatriates across the world, as are fears about losing jobs and the inability to get home as a matter of urgency. It’s the same for foreigners in Germany as it is for those across all the countries affected to date, with stress the worst enemy for those not yet infected.

Lockdowns are causing disconnection and feelings of isolation, and anxiety about the future is resulting in an obsession with breaking news as well as mood swings dependent on the current infection and death statistics. Anger and frustration are commonplace, as are disturbed sleep patterns as the brain refuses to shut down for the night.

Expats are being encouraged to realise the above and other unpleasant symptoms and mindsets are totally normal, given the situation itself and the reality of there being no quick fix for the pandemic. Pushing away negative thoughts doesn’t help, especially as it’s almost impossible to feel positive about circumstances over which personal control makes no difference, and the usual avoidance measures such as drinking aren’t the best ideas.

Recommendations from expat psychotherapists in Germany include acknowledging negative or panicky thoughts and feelings without judging or pushing them away, as they’ll almost certainly re-emerge in stronger form. Simply regarding them as existing and letting them go is the positive way to keep cool and calm, with keeping a diary as a record for innermost feelings and thoughts another way to minimise their negative effects.

Sooner or later, the pandemic will have run its present course, both in Germany and the rest of the world, although its economic effects may take a while to be resolved.
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