Let’s talk about habits.
From enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning to watching television before bed, our day-to-day quirks have a big impact on how we feel, although many of us don’t think twice about them.
However, habits have a huge impact on anyone and everyone living abroad.
Getting into a routine is crucial to anyone living the expat life. Positive habits help provide a sense of structure and comfort while you’re trying to adjust to living in unfamiliar territory.
Not only that, but also consider how habits contribute to your overall happiness and well-being. Given that mental health problems and loneliness both tend to plague expats at large, anything you can go to structure your life to keep yourself engaged, happy and productive are all major points in your favor.
That’s why we’ve outlined a specific set of habits expats should strive to form as soon as they can. While you may need to ease into some of these habits, establishing a positive routine is probably a lot easier than you might think.
Check in With Friends and Family
Staying in touch with friends and family is easier than ever the prevalence of smartphones and social media. Even something as simple as a Snapchat message or text serves as a touchpoint for checking in your family back home. Keeping those connections strong is important for both avoiding loneliness and feeling like you’re still in the loop personally.
You should give yourself peace of mind by making sure you and your family’s financial affairs are in order. For example, if you have investments or property at home that needs attention, don’t be shy about asking about it. Also, if you’re sending remittance to your home country, you should be 100% certain that those payments are coming through.
Get Out Talk to Someone Everyday
When you’re in an unfamiliar country, it’s tempting to hole yourself up. That said, striving to talk to others not only makes you more comfortable in your new surroundings, but also putting your language and social skills to the test.
Beyond family check-in’s, do what you can to get out of the house and at least say “hello” to someone in your life. Even if it’s something as simple as saying “thanks” to your cashier at a coffee shop or grocery store, such interactions are crucial to easing yourself into social situations.
Get a Workout In
It’s easy to lose track of your fitness when you’re laser-focused on trying to assimilate. Something as simple as a walk or bike ride around the block on a day-to-day basis can work wonders for your waistline, all the while serving as a subtle way to relieve stress. If you’re too timid to join the gym, also consider home dumbbell workouts or yoga as an alternative.
Cook for Yourself
There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a meal out, but refusing to cook for yourself is bad news for both your wallet and weight loss efforts. On the flip side, cooking for yourself creates a sense of comfort as you get to enjoy the comforts of home.
If nothing else, consider the concept of cooking as a form of therapy as you focus on self-improvement and have some quiet time to yourself as you learn something new.
Find Time for Self-Improvement
Speaking of self-improvement, spending some time on a day-to-day basis to focus on personal growth while also winding down is a smart move. Daily reading, meditation or language study are all ways to end your day on a positive note while also expanding your mind.
Document Your Journey
Keeping a diary may seem like an outdated concept, which is why many expats turn to the blogosphere to document their journeys. Doing so represents a brilliant way to reflect on your life in a way that’s positive and productive. Likewise, you can keep track of your journey via social media with a 365 photo-a-day project on Instagram to encourage yourself to see new things abroad.
Even forming the seemingly smallest habits can have a huge impact on your mood, ability to focus and overall well-being. By sticking to the routine above, you might be surprised at just how much better you feel while away from your home country.