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July 28, 2022

‘Ex-pat depression’ and how to overcome it

Packing up your bags and moving to a foreign country can be one of the best experiences you can have in your life. However, looking after your mental health is essential to adapt to your new home. 

If you have experienced anxiety or depression or anyone around you, this information might be helpful. Keep reading.

Once you have relocated to a new country, aspects such as language, traditions, food, and people might make you feel homesick. But wait, we have got good news for you! According to psychologists, that’s completely normal! Also, there are many tips you can follow to overcome it. 

Why does it happen?

1. A lot of things are happening at the same time.

Change isn’t easy, and it inevitably causes some stress as well as unpleasant feelings such as sadness, frustration and fear which might lead to anxiety or depression. 

2. Walking away from your support system.   

Even with Skype and phone calls, that trusted connection can feel weakened when you are overseas.


4. Everything is new. 

It can be mentally and emotionally exhausting to deal with everything you might never have before, such as sharing your household with people from different nationalities, speaking a foreign language and adapting to a new culture and its traditions.

 5. Resistance to change.  

Changing can be challenging, and developing resistance to change is a natural emotional response when moving out of the comfort zone. 

“When I was in my country…” or “When I worked as a…”

 Take those thoughts out of your mind and focus on the present reality you have decided to live.


How to make it easier?
  • Get honest about your feelings.

Avoiding your feelings while watching Netflix and nibbling can be easier than facing them. But facing them by labelling them is necessary. 

Journaling, for instance, is a great way to express your feelings.

It can be helpful to talk to someone about your feelings, but choose someone who listens and doesn’t judge, not someone who will make you feel worse or will try to tell you how you are supposed to feel.

  • Self-care is the best care

Focusing on yourself by doing activities you love and enjoy might sound simple, but that makes a huge difference.

Be a little bit selfish and take some time out for yourself. 

Some ideas?

  • Going for a walk and breath fresh air
  • Trying a new recipe
  • A self-care session at home
  • Taking a warm shower


  • Stay open.

Feeling you will never fit in a new place is an easy way out. Try to think from different perspectives and stay open to meeting new people.

  •  Reach out for help.

Trying to deal with things yourself is too much to ask of anyone who is stressed or feeling low. Looking for professional help might be helpful. Don’t feel shy to reach out! In Australia, organisations such as Beyond Blue can help you overcome that difficult time.

Are you experiencing anxiety and depression?

Take the test now!



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