Navigating challenging times as an Expat
A month ago or so, I put together a Newsletter based on conversations I had been having with my clients and network in general. Having lived in 3 different countries (and counting!) a good part of my network is made up of migrants, expats and third culture kids. For a good part of this years, I have noticed a common thread in my conversations: the challenge of navigating this pandemic as an expat.
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So these are my thoughts.
Whether you had always envisioned living abroad or have stumbled on it by chance, being an expat is a sure way to learn loads from life.
You may be loving it, be over it or, most probably, you are experiencing a mixed bag of feelings. It surely comes with its hard times: even more so during a pandemic!
The current levels of uncertainty, a more arduous or reduced possibility to travel and adjustments in our professional lives have resulted in many of us feeling…displaced? confused? overwhelmed? (more emotions here)
How do we shake off this lingering sensation and, instead, start feeling positive emotions like being peaceful, courageous, confident again?
The reflection below is set up like a Coaching session.
If you or anyone close to you are struggling coping, do get in touch: being a Coach means listening with an empathetic ear and I can help plan out how to get unstuck.
Pandemic happens. How is your choice!
Let’s start from where coaching always start: acknowledging who you are.
Your resilience to move to another country, blend into new ways of doing, find new friends, in some cases start from zero again, has served you well when Covid first hit.
However this resilience can wear off; for example: it has been 2 years of borders close here in New Zealand, how much longer can you deal with not hugging your family?
Next: reflect on your current reality. Tune in with yourself: which emotions do you spot? Think about how you feel towards:
- Your support system: family and closest friends, no visiting for prolonged period of times.
- Doubts creeping in: choices you may be questioning.
- What’s next: a big question mark or still on track?
Whichever way you are feeling: it is ok to experience it.
Instead of letting you dwell in despair, we will Reframe your thinking!
Naming emotions for what they are, understanding what factors you may not be taking into consideration can help you get back on track.
So ask yourself the following question: “What the func(tion)?”
Each emotion is there for a positive reason: so reflect on what your emotions may bring you. Maybe they are protecting you? Maybe they are a red flag for a need you don’t realise you have?
Final Stage 🏁
… remember that Resilience is a skill: it can be learnt, improve, forgotten…and picked up again!
By understanding which emotions you are feeling and how they play out in various life aspects, you gain awareness on what is most important to you.
When you know all of this, you start operating out of love instead of fear. You can translate them then into features and activities of your life that brings you joy and amplify these components!
Need to discuss this personally? I’d be pleased to have a coaching conversation: book it here.