How to Cope with Anxiety While Living Abroad 

By: Meredith San Diego

Artwork by: Sophia (@sophiasketchstudio)

Relocating overseas can present a long list of challenges. From language barriers and adapting to a new time zone to the culture and food. And oftentimes, while living abroad, you’ll be co-habitating with strangers, so anyone struggling with anxiety might begin to feel that familiar unsteadiness about relocating. 

After surviving three years in Eastern Europe as a volunteer in the US Peace Corps, I now understand how to navigate my anxiety in high-stress situations. Even in uncontrollable scenarios within a space that should bring serenity such as home. 

Applying a positive attitude to a complicated situation may sound like an overly simplified approach to living with strangers. But the reality is, “being at home” should serve as more than your location– it needs to be a place of sanctuary as well. Sharing a space with a stranger while struggling with anxiety may seem impossible, but I believe it is completely doable. 

Here are a few ways I’ve learned how to manage it. 

Set Yourself Up for Success

Try to develop positive behavioral practices to set yourself up for success. You don’t have to interact with every human you encounter, so don’t set the expectation to do so. No one is perfect, including you! So don’t pretend that you have to be. 

Transitioning into any new living space takes time. Remember to stay patient while attempting to do the same in a foreign country. When times are too trying, reach out and seek support from loved ones. 

Put Your Health First 

Look into getting travel insurance– especially if you will not have access to healthcare while living abroad. This will add some peace of mind especially if coping tools such as talk therapy or prescription medications are a necessity.

Digitize Important Documents

Make digital copies of your important documents (medical or otherwise) to ease the flow of information across continents. Digital copies of any original documents come in handy if a background check or medical clearance is needed for a job opportunity.

Stay Connected

Living in the digital age helps close geographical gaps at the touch of a button. Take full advantage of this access and keep yourself well connected to those within your inner circle. The individuals that bring laughter and light; the ones that are the loudest cheerleaders for your successes. 

Some days living with anxiety, the panic is too overwhelming and the ability to articulate a full sentence seems as impossible a task as lifting a truck over your head. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that regardless of how you currently feel, the feeling is fluid and will pass. It is important to remind yourself that you are not alone. 

Zoom, Google Hangouts, or WhatsApp are a few of the software tools that can be used around the globe to stay connected while living abroad. Having face-to-face conversations with people who know you best amidst an anxiety attack can go a long way in refocusing your mindset on more positive aspects.  

Stay Positive

Maintaining a positive mindset is no easy feat. Especially when you feel the world is spinning and nothing seems to make any sense. Factor in the uncontrollable external factors of existing on earth in this day and age and it’s all too easy to sympathize with the debilitating side effects anxiety can cause. 

Positivity can be a great self-sustaining super power. When dark moments of angst creep in, arming yourself with positivity can arm your psyche with an added layer of courage. 

If you can find the bright side, you can navigate toward the light.

Here are a few suggestions to start building your positivity bank:

  • Hang positive affirmations in your room or living space.
  • Practice mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.
  • Get regular exercise. 
  • Prioritize a self-care routine.
  • Give a stranger a compliment.
  • Remind a loved one exactly why you love them.
  • Get lost in a book.
  • Journal
  • Writing poetry
  • Get creative (paint, knit, color, draw, dance)

Having anxiety doesn’t have to be a deterrent to living abroad. 

Don’t allow common misconceptions of what it is to live with anxiety deter your desire to prioritize personal growth– regardless of your geographical location. Be your own cheerleader. Tell yourself you will succeed and then set out to do just that.

 

How to Cope with Anxiety While Living Abroad 

By: Meredith San Diego

Artwork by: Sophia (@sophiasketchstudio)

Relocating overseas can present a long list of challenges. From language barriers and adapting to a new time zone to the culture and food. And oftentimes, while living abroad, you’ll be co-habitating with strangers, so anyone struggling with anxiety might begin to feel that familiar unsteadiness about relocating. 

After surviving three years in Eastern Europe as a volunteer in the US Peace Corps, I now understand how to navigate my anxiety in high-stress situations. Even in uncontrollable scenarios within a space that should bring serenity such as home. 

Applying a positive attitude to a complicated situation may sound like an overly simplified approach to living with strangers. But the reality is, “being at home” should serve as more than your location– it needs to be a place of sanctuary as well. Sharing a space with a stranger while struggling with anxiety may seem impossible, but I believe it is completely doable. 

Here are a few ways I’ve learned how to manage it. 

Set Yourself Up for Success

Try to develop positive behavioral practices to set yourself up for success. You don’t have to interact with every human you encounter, so don’t set the expectation to do so. No one is perfect, including you! So don’t pretend that you have to be. 

Transitioning into any new living space takes time. Remember to stay patient while attempting to do the same in a foreign country. When times are too trying, reach out and seek support from loved ones. 

Put Your Health First 

Look into getting travel insurance– especially if you will not have access to healthcare while living abroad. This will add some peace of mind especially if coping tools such as talk therapy or prescription medications are a necessity.

Digitize Important Documents

Make digital copies of your important documents (medical or otherwise) to ease the flow of information across continents. Digital copies of any original documents come in handy if a background check or medical clearance is needed for a job opportunity.

Stay Connected

Living in the digital age helps close geographical gaps at the touch of a button. Take full advantage of this access and keep yourself well connected to those within your inner circle. The individuals that bring laughter and light; the ones that are the loudest cheerleaders for your successes. 

Some days living with anxiety, the panic is too overwhelming and the ability to articulate a full sentence seems as impossible a task as lifting a truck over your head. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that regardless of how you currently feel, the feeling is fluid and will pass. It is important to remind yourself that you are not alone. 

Zoom, Google Hangouts, or WhatsApp are a few of the software tools that can be used around the globe to stay connected while living abroad. Having face-to-face conversations with people who know you best amidst an anxiety attack can go a long way in refocusing your mindset on more positive aspects.  

Stay Positive

Maintaining a positive mindset is no easy feat. Especially when you feel the world is spinning and nothing seems to make any sense. Factor in the uncontrollable external factors of existing on earth in this day and age and it’s all too easy to sympathize with the debilitating side effects anxiety can cause. 

Positivity can be a great self-sustaining super power. When dark moments of angst creep in, arming yourself with positivity can arm your psyche with an added layer of courage. 

If you can find the bright side, you can navigate toward the light.

Here are a few suggestions to start building your positivity bank:

  • Hang positive affirmations in your room or living space.
  • Practice mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.
  • Get regular exercise. 
  • Prioritize a self-care routine.
  • Give a stranger a compliment.
  • Remind a loved one exactly why you love them.
  • Get lost in a book.
  • Journal
  • Writing poetry
  • Get creative (paint, knit, color, draw, dance)

Having anxiety doesn’t have to be a deterrent to living abroad. 

Don’t allow common misconceptions of what it is to live with anxiety deter your desire to prioritize personal growth– regardless of your geographical location. Be your own cheerleader. Tell yourself you will succeed and then set out to do just that.

About author: Meredith San Diego

 

Meredith is a travel blogger and vlogger from the USA with over 50 passport stamps. 

She is passionate about offering intuitive insights about life as she jet sets around the globe. 

Follow her adventures on her blog, Baglady Meredith San Diego. 

 

Find me on instagram @baglady.meredith.sandiego

About author: Meredith San Diego

Meredith is a travel blogger and vlogger from the USA with over 50 passport stamps. 

She is passionate about offering intuitive insights about life as she jet sets around the globe. 

Follow her adventures on her blog, Baglady Meredith San Diego. 

Find me on instagram @baglady.meredith.sandiego