Nothing’s tougher than living overseas alone. If you’re from a tropical country with lots of sunshine and beaches, loneliness is defined by snow during Christmas. It’s also the isolated cry of a muezzin in the dark of dawn. Your loved ones are celebrating together, while you toil by yourself, maybe even working during holidays. If you are to survive, though, you have to stay positive.
How to stay positive when you live overseas
Happiness is a choice.
— Stephen R. Covey (@StephenRCovey) June 1, 2017
Yes, you can feel lonely, you can feel homesick, and there are days when you just want to pack it in and go home. It never goes well if you dwell on your misery. Make a conscious effort to lift your mood up. As Stephen Covey advices in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, be proactive. This also includes being proactive regarding your state of mind. Don’t dwell on things that you can’t change. You can only be responsible for things that you can control. If you can control it, you can change it.
Stay busy and connect with people
There is a cliché about idle minds becoming the devil’s playground. Ennui, listlessness, and loneliness are magnified when you have a lot of time to brood. Stay busy by getting a new hobby, exercising, and building up your network overseas. Making new friends does not mean replacing old ones. It’s just that you need a support system around you since you are in a foreign place.
See the bright side
Life, as they say, is not all rainbows and butterflies. That is a truism whether you are in your home country or overseas. You can choose to be home with your family, or you can choose to provide a better future for your family abroad. You are fortunate in that you have the experience of living in a different country, something that others can only dream about.
Stay away from negativity
Even plants die when their gardener is constantly bombarding them with unhappy things. A friend of mine was assigned to take care of the convent garden and she says they died one by one. She was only telling them all of her heartaches in life. Identify the things that stress you out, whether it’s political news from home, or negative people who likes to gossip and feed you bad vibes. Avoidance in this case is healthier.
Your thoughts show in your body language
There are times when you’re down. Your shoulders may slump, and your RBF is activated. You know what? Smile. For no particular reason. Square your shoulders, stand up tall, and smile at the day. You’ll feel way better.