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Five Self-Care Tips for Expat Life

A Healthy Expat Lifestyle includes Self-Care

Image of the words "and breathe" on a wall of shrubbery
Max Van den Oetelaar / Unsplash

For expats, self-care should be an essential part of your life abroad. So, what exactly is self-care? Self-care refers to caring for yourself in three aspects: emotionally, physically, and spiritually. When you care for yourself in these areas, you are promoting a healthier and more enjoyable life. It has become common knowledge in the healthcare profession that engaging in self-care activities reduces depression, fatigue, anxiety, and sluggishness.

Black sneakers and dumbells on a wooden floor
Kelly Sikkema /Unsplash.

What are some examples of self-care activities? They include being outdoors in nature, eating healthy meals, meditation or practicing your faith, playing with your children, exercise, reading, journaling/writing, listening to relaxing music, traveling, having a massage, and having a hobby.

Expats need to practice self-care throughout their journey. But practicing self-care during stressful times, such as a crisis or emergency, would be strongly recommended. Another critical period in your expat life where self-care would be helpful is when you first arrive in a new location or before you leave a location. Both timeframes can be stressful. As such, doing one of your self-care activities can help you refocus on the plans ahead.

In the middle of a stressful time, be it a crisis or settling into a new location, self-care might seem counterproductive. But it is during these times that one needs to break the routine or momentum and do self-care. You might think that it is too challenging to find ways or options for self-care during these periods. Let me offer some tips to get you thinking about self-care that is cognizant of our current global circumstances.

Tip #1: Daily Self-Care.

Add small self-care activities to your daily life routines. Try daily meditation, yoga, or a simple walk for exercise in your neighborhood or at lunchtime, practicing the proper social distancing. Pull out or dust off the gym equipment sitting around the house or apartment—time to use it. Try joining a local gym virtually for exercise classes online. Hire a fitness coach for virtual sessions or try a fitness app. It could also be an excellent way to meet new people. These actions can help counteract stress.

Tip #2: Create a Self-Care List.