5 Tricks to Avoid Expat Burnout

by David Tompkins

Here are five tricks to avoid expat burnout

Every expat, digital nomad, and global citizen would have gone through a burnout phase in their lives. You feel you want to drop everything, pack your bags, and go home. You’re dragging yourself out of bed every day with not an ounce of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, it can happen during any stage of your expat experience. It can creep in just a few weeks into your new journey as an expat, or it can even hit you as a seasoned expat. Fortunately, this feeling is not permanent and there is way to feel the motivation of the adventure again. Here are five tricks to avoid expat burnout.

Avoid expat burnout

1. Understanding the root of the problem

When you’re feeling exhausted emotionally, physically, and mentally, it is usually caused by prolonged stress. You also feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. So the first thing to do is to find out the root cause of your problem. Figure out what is triggering your burnout. If you take the time to analyze what is really bothering you, then steps can be taken to overcome the issue. Are you unhappy with your job? Do you dislike the new country?

Most often, issues from your personal life tend to reflect in your perceptions. Maybe you’re having a problem with your partner or had a frustrating encounter with a local, and consider what you can do about it. Most of the time, there’s a solution.

There are plenty of ways to manage stress, and we are capable of it. You can always set the tone of your day by starting a relaxing ritual. Spend the first 15 minutes of your day meditating, journaling, setting affirmations, stretching, or reading something that feeds you some inspiration.

explore your own city

2. Take a break, travel

Sometimes you just have to reignite what started this expat journey, traveling. It is vital to pay attention to your mental health and by even taking a short break you can alleviate the stress. Take a short trip to the neighboring city or town and clear your mind. It will undoubtedly recharge your batteries and exploring a new city will help you focus on the finer things in life.

You can even explore the same city or your favorite city, as long as it makes you feel better. You can even take this opportunity to meet your friend in another city. Nothing beats having a friend or an acquaintance to spend some time with. Try new things and it will help you get out of your routine.

3. Or just explore your own city

So you can’t get out of town, that’s okay! Another trick to avoid the expat burnout is to simply explore your own city. Try out a new restaurant, or a cafe. Order something new in your favorite restaurant. Find out some cool activities you can do.

You never know, you might stumble upon something (or someone) exciting or even find a hidden gem in your new home. Sometimes our routine can be the culprit and shaking it up a little might give you more control of your life. After all, you got to take care of yourself.

explore the city

4. Avoid expat burnout by breaking a sweat!

Exercising boosts your endorphins and clears your mind. You can even use this opportunity to work out your frustrations. Go for a kickboxing class to vent out if you need to. On the other hand, going for a job, doing yoga, or enrolling in any fitness class definitely improves your mood. If you’re on a tight budget, you can even just go for a walk.

Practice mindfulness by observing your breath and it will take you to a meditative state. It also helps declutter your rambling thoughts and calm the monkey mind.

with expat friends

5. Seek positivity

One last tip to avoid expat burnout is by surrounding yourself with positivity. Evaluate your friends, peers, and co-workers that you surround yourself with. If they bring you down in any way, you should distance yourself from them. On the other hand, you can also talk to them about how they make you feel. It is crucial you are not surrounded by negative people or even people who are constantly complaining.  It definitely drains your energy and mood.

Even if you’re being bombarded with negative events, learn how to respond instead of reacting. Take the time to analyze the situation and switch your mind’s perspective. Instead of seeing it as a problem, see it as an opportunity to find a solution. Remember, it starts from within, and you have the power to make the change.

Finally, if you are an expatriate living abroad, it makes sense to have some international health insurance in place that will cover you should you experience “expat burnout” that causes mental illness. Many global medical plans will include some coverage for mental treatment.

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