Expat Tips: Always Have Something to Look Forward To
Keep Your Calendar Busy
Making plans and organizing your time wisely is one of the simplest ways to always have something to look forward to. To get started, make a list of things you really enjoy and consider how you will find the time to do them. Being proactive and penciling activities in not only allows you to enjoy the anticipation for longer, but also reduces the chance of last-minute double bookings.
If your evenings are precious or usually fully booked, utilize other parts of your day you would usually while away. For instance, schedule a phone call with friends on your morning commute, or arrange a weekly (virtual) lunch date with a colleague.
It doesn’t have to be social either. I personally am always excited to get out on my bike, and as soon as the ice clears up I get back to commuting to work on two wheels. In mixing up my commuting routine, I not only feel proactive, but it also keeps things interesting and new!
Leave Space for Relaxation
Introducing regular relaxation rituals into your life will give you a sense of well-being and gratitude. Whether it is 15 minutes in the morning, or a full hour in the evening, your body will thank you for allowing it some time to rejuvenate.
I personally love knowing that I have time to myself in the evening, where I can appreciate being still after a hectic day of work. I don’t always necessarily do the same thing either, switching it up with activities such as yoga and painting.
Treat Yourself to Something You Love
Another way to have a constant spark of positivity is to treat yourself to something which brings you joy every once in a while. Whether it is giving yourself the time to watch your favorite movie all cozied up in bed or cooking a homemade recipe, saving these things for a rainy day will give yourself that extra boost.
The success to this one is also partly psychological. Make sure that you fully recognize when you are treating yourself, and don’t allow it to become part of your day-to-day routine. Of course, there is no harm in splurging on takeout every once in a while, but don’t become dependent on material things to regulate your mood.
Subscribe to a Surprise Package
I personally love getting mail. Not the message-from-your-bank kind, but rather postcards from friends or parcels from family members. When I first moved abroad, my mum would send me care packages containing goods from home that I couldn’t get my hands on easily here in Germany. I would look forward to it instantly, from the moment she called to the moment it finally came. If you’re the same, why not propose to loved ones that they treat you to a care package every once in a while? In return, you can offer to send them the latest discoveries you’ve come across in your new host country!
Alternatively, another great way to get frequent mail is to subscribe to a monthly surprise package. There are lots of different companies offering this service — so whether you love skincare or comic books, there’s something out there for everyone.
Plan a Getaway
Sometimes we simply do need to satiate that wild sense of adventure, and so long as our wallet allows it, why shouldn’t we indulge in a mini getaway? Whether it’s hiking, a spa retreat, or a city break, planning a getaway can put a huge smile on your face — if the COVID-19 restrictions in your country or city allows for it. If your time is limited, you don’t ever have to travel far! One of the most exciting parts of being an expat is that the new and unexplored is always just around the corner!
To see the rest of this ongoing video series with our resident expat expert Lauren, visit our Facebook page. There you can share your feedback with us or even ask for advice — we may just use your question as the starting point for the next video!