4 min3 December 2020

How to deal with your emotions living abroad?

2020 was a difficult year for many of us. The global pandemic, the lockdowns announced in many countries, the sense of threat and instability of the rights to which we are used to. All of that makes us feel uncomfortable. Many people experience a decline in mood, prolonged states of nostalgia, or feelings of powerlessness. It is hard to find yourself in reality after 2020 in your own country, and in a foreign place, it is even more difficult. Therefore, in cooperation with Ewa Moczulska, we have prepared a mini-guide to help you deal with your emotions and a list of behaviors that should be alarming and worth consulting with a specialist.

Acknowledge your emotions

When going abroad, we must take into account that the level of stress in our body will increase for some time. Starting a life in a new place, always involves a lot of mental and physical effort. Getting used to the new environment means taking up many new challenges daily. The stress with which an immigrant has to deal with is considerable… Many stress factors are triggered during the trip. Accepting the anxiety you experience and coming to terms with difficulties, is a good first step to letting go. There is no point in pretending that the world is more colorful than we actually see it. Denying your feelings never leads to good results.

Accept what is

According to I.D.Yalom (an American existential psychiatrist, retired professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, and author of both fiction and non-fiction), it’s important to accept the unfairness of life when you are dealing with challenges. This is just the way it is, and fighting it makes no sense. Besides, it’s worth accepting the fact that, in the end, it’s impossible to get away from the pain of life. There will always be something to disappoint us or make us suffer.

Take responsibility

Perhaps the most important clue from this researcher is advice on taking responsibility for your life. How we live our lives is on us. All the happiness and misfortune. And it doesn’t matter how much good advice or how much support we get from other people. As the saying goes: you are the architect of your own fortune. You choose what kind of life you want to live and you are responsible for it. Apparently, this approach is very liberating and simply healthy for our mind. Try to work with it, you may feel lighter at heart!

I am trying, but I can’t cope with this

If, in spite of various attempts to cope with difficulties, you feel worse and worse, you have low mood or lack of energy, then it’s worth using the help of a psychologist. Unfortunately, no psychotherapy or psychologist can replace the presence of friends in your life and meeting people. However, a specialist can really help you get through the worst moments, better understand your situation and find new and effective ways to deal with loneliness. So when is it reasonable to seek help from a specialist (psychologist, psychotherapist)?

What are the alarming signals?

Certainly, one of the alarming factors is the feeling of a reduction in the quality of life. Do you feel that something is wrong, you want a change, but you don’t know what exactly you need? It’s worth talking to someone about it. It also happens that a problem overwhelms us, we feel that we are carrying a burden that is almost too hard to handle. The support of relatives is not always sufficient then. In such situations, it is worth talking to a specialist. Emotions are also an alarming signal: if you experience excessive stress, anxiety, sleep problems or see that you are abusing alcohol, psychoactive substances or drugs – do not wait for help, it will not come by itself. You have to reach for it. A disturbing symptom may also be problems arising in the relationship with a parent, child, partner, co-worker or boss, which you cannot solve and you are not really sure where they come from.

Listen to yourself

These are just some of the symptoms that should be consulted with a specialist. However, we believe that it is worth observing yourself and listening to your needs. Humans are complex machines, full of parts where errors can occur. It is worth taking care of our machinery in order to enjoy life to the fullest, in good health and in a great mood as long as possible. We know that trips abroad can be difficult. However, we hope that our series of interviews with Ewa Moczulska will slightly explain the issues of well-being during work abroad. You have the right not to feel good at all times and know that it is okay to seek help for yourself! Stay healthy!


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