So you’ve made the jump to this country… for your work or study. Or to join your loved one(s). For a better life, in its broadest interpretation.
You’ve unpacked your suitcases and got somewhat settled in your city. Perhaps met new friends too.
Is that there is to it, though?
Your inner journey is just starting to catch up.
After the ‘honeymoon’ period is over, you probably start to notice the effects of the uprooting you’ve gone through. To make yourself at home, you need to grow new roots in this unfamiliar land. And that takes tremendous courage, consistent effort, and lots of inner strength. And gosh, it is not all rosy – despite what your family back home may think.
You’re here not on holiday. This is your life now. And it’s not problem-free.
Take care of your mental health
A survey by Healthcare for Internationals (2019) found that more than 50% of internationals in The Netherlands experience mental challenges, eg frequently feeling lonely, anxious or depressed. 70% see these feelings as direct results of moving to another country. Less than 20% of those experiencing issues seek help from the available system. 80% try to solve it on their own or with friends/family, with a low success rate.
How to create mental and emotional resilience as an expat
Three ingredients are present in the life of expats who thrive.
Community as their support system
Ambitious and go-getting are words often used to describe expats. And yes, lots of us are committed to always better ourselves. To keep growing as a professional and personal. To carry on sustainably though, you need to balance this constant push to develop yourself with a great act of self-care. Self-care is not selfish.
Expats/ internationals may face a demanding circumstance, without their familiar support system (friends & family). You’ll need a community to help you carry the weight.
By developing these three key ingredients, you win over your challenges and build your home within.