Mental Health and Wellbeing for Expats


Five Tips for Maintaining Mental Health and Wellbeing as an Expat

Living as an expat can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also come with its own set of challenges. Adjusting to a new culture, language, and environment can take a toll on your mental health and well-being. However, by prioritizing your mental health and implementing some practical tips, you can maintain a healthy mindset while living abroad.

2 – Build a Support System

Building a support system is crucial for maintaining your mental health as an expat. Surrounding yourself with people who understand the challenges you may face can provide a sense of belonging and emotional support. This can be friends, family, or fellow expats who have gone through similar experiences. Having a support system in place can help you navigate the ups and downs of expat life and provide a sense of community in your new environment.

3 – Engage in Light Exercise

Regular physical activity is not only beneficial for your physical health but also for your mental wellbeing. Engaging in exercise releases endorphins, which are known as “feel-good” hormones that can boost your mood and reduce stress. Find activities that you enjoy and make it a priority to incorporate them into your routine. This could include joining a local sports team, going for walks or hikes in nature, or trying out new fitness classes. Not only will staying active improve your mental health, but it can also help you meet new people and explore your new environment as an expat.

4 – Prioritize Self-Care

As an expat, it’s important to prioritize self-care and make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Engaging in hobbies that you enjoy, practicing meditation, or treating yourself to a spa day can all contribute to maintaining a healthy mindset while living abroad. Taking time for yourself allows you to recharge and rejuvenate, reducing stress and promoting overall mental wellbeing. Remember, self-care is not selfish, but rather a necessary part of maintaining your mental health as an expat.

5 – Learn the Local Language(s)

Learning the local language is an essential step in adapting to life as an expat. Not only does it help you communicate with locals and navigate daily tasks, but it also helps you feel more connected to your new environment. Learning the language shows respect for the culture and can open up opportunities for deeper connections and friendships. Whether you take formal language classes, use language learning apps, or practice with locals, investing time and effort into learning the language will greatly enhance your expat experience and contribute to your overall mental wellbeing.

Living abroad can be a challenging experience, and it’s important to prioritize your mental health and wellbeing. If you find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A mental health professional can provide guidance and support tailored to your specific needs. They can help you navigate the unique challenges of expat life and provide strategies for maintaining a healthy mindset. Remember, there is no shame in asking for help, and seeking professional support can make a significant difference in your overall wellbeing as an expat.


Resources and further readings

The ROOT CAUSE Of Trauma & Why You FEEL LOST In Life | Dr. Gabor Maté & Jay Shetty

How to understand & heal your trauma: Gabor Maté, M.D. | mbg Podcast

  • Completion and Wholeness
  • Authenticity


Interview with Ed Cohen on the 3 I’s of Expat Partner Challenges – Isolation, Identity, and Influence


Angie W speaks about the 3 I’s … isolation, identity, influence


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Ana Margarida Forte Interview–radio/episodes/PODCAST-INTERNATIONAL-Serie-2-5-WorldWild-Ana-Margarida-Forte-with–Angie-Weinberger-talking-about-mental-health-eoi3uf

Looking at the whole family in the expatriation process

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