Smart Resources for Savvy Career Professionals

Smart Resources for Savvy Career Professionals

I have two great resources for you today. The first is a video on expat mental health that is well worth looking at if you are working abroad, will be doing so in 2019, or would like to do so.

Did you know that expats are 2.5 times more likely to experience anxiety or depression than domesticworkers? Working overseas can be a stressful experience and it’s not uncommonfor expats to struggle with their mental health as they adapt to a new culture,language, and job, all while being away from their personal support network.

A survey by AetnaInternational demonstrates that mental health is worryingly low on the priority list for those relocating, with only 6% of respondents saying that they wereconcerned about mental health before the move.

I was an exchange student in high school and spent nearly three months in Central America. That was over 40 years ago, but I still remember how much time AFS (American Field Service – the exchange program I traveled through) invested in helping my peers and I to adjust to our new homes and families. We had two full days of cultural immersion activities, and whilethat’s not much by today’s standards, it wasn’t bad at all for four decadesago.

Luckily, I didn’t suffer from any anxiety or depression at the time, but my stay in Costa Rica was admittedly short. An expat looking at a year or more abroad, let alone a permanent move, is much more likely to experience culture shock.

What steps can you take to look after your mental health before moving abroad? The most helpful thing you can do is to conduct thorough research about your chosen destination on ways to make friends, work/social culture, how to stay in contact with home, and potential stress outlets. It’s also critical to take note and be aware of your own stressors and to learn the signals of anxiety and depression. While abroad, leave plenty of time for self-care and be sure to take all the usual steps suchas getting a good night’s sleep and limiting alcohol consumption.

If you think you need some additional support while working overseas there are several things you can try to source counseling. If you are technologically-minded, e-counseling can be a great way to connect with a trained professional from home who speaks your language. If you prefer to go with a more traditional option, don’t be afraid to leverage your network to find a suitable service.  

To learn more about how to look after your mental health during a move abroad, I recommend that you watch this highly informative video from Hanen& Company Immigration Lawyers. This video looks at mental health from an expat perspective and suggests some steps you can take to maintainpositive wellbeing while living and working abroad. 

The second resource I have for you today is a terrific website created by Patrik Hellstrand. ThriveWired showcases original and curated content selected to inspire thriving careers and lives. I loved it and hope you do, too. Check it out! Articles span an array of topics such as leadership, self-awareness, well-being, culture,entrepreneurship, growth, changing jobs, purpose, productivity, and much more.Patrik has done an excellent job of gathering a wealth of truly inspiringcontent which I suspect you may find beneficial.

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