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A time for self re-discovery

Moving abroad is often like starting a new year. You have lots of expectations for how you’d like life to go, but you are never quite prepared for what life actually throws at you.

Photograph: Unsplash

Text: Kelly Kristensen

The resolutions you make for a better life start to get lost and forgotten. You may even feel that you are no longer living, but surviving, and life can be a very confusing time with many unknown factors. No matter how hard you try, you can’t continue to live your life as before, because let’s face it, things have changed.

At times like these, you may start to feel sad or frustrated about your new life. You may even feel that you don’t know yourself anymore. Don’t despair, because you are not alone! Many expats often wonder how they will fit into their new life abroad, and often, this confusion leads many people to start a journey of self re-discovery.

For those of you looking for a place to start, here are eight steps to find YOU again that can put you on a path to feeling happier in your new life abroad.

Step One: Meditating

Moving to another country can get your thoughts racing. Take some time to find the quiet. Being overwhelmed with many different feelings can cloud your judgement and make it hard to focus. Give yourself permission to slow down with your breathing and relax your body and your mind.

Step Two: Journaling

Journaling is a great thing to do if you are unsure of your feelings and direction. Write down how different situations make you feel, but also be sure to write a positive solution. Be your biggest supporter with kind words of strength and hope. Reading back these feelings and positive resolutions out loud to yourself may be the pick-me-up that you need to get through your tough days.

Step Three: Adjusting Your Mindset

Practice positive thinking in your daily life. Whenever you are faced with an unpleasant situation, try to take a mental step back from it and think of something that makes you smile. After all, happy thoughts give fairies their wings. Imagine what it can do for you!

Step Four: Being Present and Focusing

Being in a new place often gives you many things to think about, making it hard for you to see the good from the bad. Being present in the moment instead of constantly in your own head will help you finetune your focus.

Step Five: Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

This is probably one of the hardest things to do for people, but saying “yes” when you might often say “no” could really open you up to new wonders you never knew were there.

Step Six: Abandoning Expectations

We often put pressure on ourselves to be a specific person or do certain things. Go easy on yourself and allow things to happen. This will allow you to enjoy your daily life and new experiences much more.

Step Seven: Creating a New Routine

Try to establish new norms in your new home. This might mean adjusting to your new country's new norms, but routines can help you feel more in control when you know what to expect.

Step Eight: Doing What Makes You Happy

Take a quiet moment out of your day to ask yourself, “what makes me happy” to find what it is that matters to you. Then, make time in your schedule to include the “happy things” in your life.

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