Tips for dealing with anxiety when moving abroad

Natalia Wilkowskaon 31 May 2022
Airport boarding lounge

Moving is stressful as it is, abroad even more so. Follow these tips on how to settle when you move abroad and you’ll be able to relax in your new home.

Moving abroad is exciting, but it can also be stressful. Experiencing a new country, culture, and language can fill us with uncertainty. But moving abroad doesn't have to be an entirely uncomfortable experience. It’s important to maintain a positive attitude. Here are some tips to help you to deal with your anxiety when moving abroad:

Talk to your loved ones

Nobody understands us like our family and friends. During the move, they can be a great support network. Someone close to you may have done a big move themselves, meaning they’ll have some useful advice. Ask them about their experiences and seek reassurance for your doubts; they’ll definitely want to help. Missing your loved ones is one of the depressing parts of moving abroad, so make plans to stay in contact with your loved ones, even if it’s just a regular call with friends or family. Frequent conversations will lift your spirits and reduce stress.

Online groups for people of your nationality

In many countries, there are social media groups dedicated to foreigners living there. Join groups with people who share your nationality as a way of making new friends. Who’ll understand better than a person who’s been through the same experiences as you?

Additionally, job ads and local events often get shared in such groups. There are all kinds of upsides to joining groups like these. Maybe you'll meet your future roommate there, who knows? In any case, you’ll find support there to help you adjust to your new surroundings.

Plan everything step by step

It's hard to plan a move to another country, especially if it’s far away. To save yourself unnecessary stress, try to plan as much as possible. Start with a detailed plan for your moving day, listing the things you need to take with you, flight times, and the route from the airport to your new home.

With a checklist in hand, you won’t forget anything. It’s also worth planning what you’ll get up to on your first day in a new country. What do you have to do on the first day? Where is the nearest grocery store, and where is the university campus? 

Check out the places to be

Once the initial anxiety has calmed down, plan a city tour. Look on social media for places that are among young people, and what clubs or bars they recommend. If you prefer something quieter, see if there are any interesting museums or art galleries in the city. And if you prefer to spend time outdoors, look for parks, botanical gardens, or nature reserves in your new neighbourhood.

Don't be hard on yourself

Don't expect too much of yourself at the start; moving to another country is no mean feat. Give yourself time and be patient with yourself. When times are hard, try to calm yourself down by taking deep breaths with your favourite music in the background. Why not try yoga, meditation, or something more energetic like going to the gym? Remember to take care of yourself and your mental health will improve with time. Once you get used to your new country and city, make sure you have fun.

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Natalia Wilkowskaon 31 May 2022