The expat blues is what you could experience after the initial excitement and stresses of moving to a new country has passed.
All the boxes have been unpacked and daily life kicks in.
Usually at this point you reach a place where you can finally stop and have a look around.
This is usually the moment when you realise that you are alone and those feelings of isolation kick in.
What are the expat blues?
It hit me round about the six-month mark.
It started with feelings of being down mixed in with all the new sensations, excitement, and experiences of living in a new country.
This meant that I did not recognise it immediately.
Human nature usually kicks at this point and you will find yourself compensating for these feelings by, in general, one of two ways.
Either by keeping yourself very busy and on the go constantly so you never have the time or energy to feel the loneliness, or
By hiding away, retreating into yourself or Netflix, for instance.
Again, this is another way to hide from your feelings. (I am a superstar in this one😉)
What can you do?
Just remember that emotions are not a disease. It’s okay to feel them. They just reflect how you feel.
And it’s okay to feel down. It’s only natural under the circumstances.
We all will or have gone through this phase and Yes, it is a phase. It will pass.
The longer you are in your new country, the less strange it will feel.
It will still take years before it feels like home when you step out the front door, but you will get there.
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So, what else can you do to help you get through the Expat blues?
Finding a new rhythm in life helps. It gives you something to focus on.
You have a fantastic opportunity to reinvent yourself and your life.
Give your life purpose. Step outside your comfort zone, which I know you can do because you moved to a different country.
Get into the right mindset.
When those feelings do come up, acknowledge them, give them space to be and then let them go.
Please don’t dwell on feeling down as this will more than likely develop into depression.
Stay focused on the positive and on the adventures and the reasons why you are starting this amazing new life in this amazing new country.
Last, but in no way least, call home. Connect with loved ones. Get them involved in the mundane daily life.
When I finally convinced my parents to download Skype, we would ring every day.
My mum would prepare dinner and I was cleaning up from breakfast. She would help me rearrange the house by telling me where the furniture would need to go.
We chat about our day and it brought a sense of normalcy, which was very comforting and still is.
You could also try my idea of an ” I don’t have to” day.