Ensuring Your Health and Wellness as an Expat

by Danny Fowler on Flickr

If you’re an expat living abroad, it’s vital that you take good care of yourself, both physically and mentally.  Moving to a new country can cause unprecedented strain and stress on your psyche and body, so expats need to be extremely astute to maintain good health.

For the Mind

Expats live overseas for a plethora of reasons: adventure, work, escape, retirement, cost of living.  While life abroad might seem glamorous and exciting, it can also be mentally taxing on you.

One of the best things you can do for yourself before embarking on your new life abroad is to educate yourself by learning as much as you can about the destination, the language, and the culture.  Read books, blogs, and forums from people who have been there before.  Explore your new country ahead of time to ensure that you’ll be living in the best possible place for you.  While nothing will fully prepare you for the experience, having as much information as possible will allow you to feel like you have more control over your life.

Another factor to consider is homesickness.  If you’re living near family or relocating for work, this might not be a problem.  But if you’re flying solo, it’s important to stay in touch with friends from back home while integrating yourself into the local community to establish new connections.  For most, building relationships is necessary for a happy life when living abroad.

Your relationships – new friends, business partners, romances – are all key to truly enjoying your new home.  Connecting with people from another culture and background can be one of the most rewarding and enlightening experiences of your life.  You’ll learn to interact with the world around you in a whole new way.

For the Body

Moving to a new country can be very shocking for your body, especially if you’ll be in a drastically different climate.  Again, research is your best tool to know how to prevent many problems.  Knowing what vaccinations to have, what to eat and drink, and what your healthcare options will be is a solid start.

Staying active and having interests will help your new country feel more like home.  Explore the natural attractions to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and get in touch with nature.  Develop routines and try some classes that will teach you about things like the local cuisine or language.

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