Take Care of Your Mental Health Before Moving Abroad!

Living abroad is a thrilling and transformational experience, but it can also be daunting. Before embarking on a new adventure, it’s important to make sure that you take good care of your mental health. Moving to a new country, learning a new language, and adapting to a new culture can be overwhelming and stressful, so it’s important to prepare yourself mentally before you make the move. Taking care of your mental health before moving abroad can help you to better manage the challenges and stressors that come with living in a new place and make your experience abroad much more enjoyable.

Your mental and emotional well-being will certainly be significantly impacted by the idea of going to the new world. Going abroad requires a great deal of courage, optimism, self-assurance, and independence, which is maybe why those with the guts to do it initially tried to brush off any symptoms of stress or anxiety. Anxiety and sadness may have a pre-existing consequence of feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes people may not recognise that they are in pain or facing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

Let’s find out what kind of signs or symptoms one can meet because of anxiety and depression which can affect mental health before moving abroad:

Anxiety Symptoms

  • Feeling restlessness the whole time
  • Your brain 
  • Having an increased or decreased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Sweating profusely
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating on anything else than present worry
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent random headaches
  • Fidgeting or shaking of hands and limbs without a reason
  • A persistent sense of fear or worry of impending danger
  • Trouble concentrating and sleeping

Depression Symptoms

  • Sadness, grief, emptiness, or a sense of failure
  • Irrational behaviour, irritation, or frustration, especially about trivial issues
  • Loss of enjoyment or interest in the majority of everyday activities, including hobbies, and sports
  • Sleep disorders, such as insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Due to fatigue and a lack of energy, even simple tasks need more effort
  • Weight loss and decreased appetite, or weight gain and increased desire for food
  • A feeling of unease, anxiety, or worry
  • Sluggish speech, posture, or other body movements
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness, a fixation on mistakes made in the past, or self-blame
  • Problems with memory, concentration, decision-making, and thought
  • Thoughts of suicide, death, or other suicidal behaviour on a regular basis or repeatedly
  • Undiagnosed physical issues like headaches or back pain

Causes of Anxiety and Depression

Let us know the causes which trigger anxiety and depression which can impact mental health before moving abroad: 

  • Overwhelming with the information: People around you like your family, friends, and relatives all may give you a lot of suggestions regarding the idea of moving abroad which could be positive or negative. This may have burdened you with the thought that you have made the right decision or not and which in turn causes restlessness and anxiety, and in the long term, it will turn into depression.
  • Weather: Thinking again and again about the weather change can impact your mental health before moving abroad. Your temperament and attitude can be strongly impacted by changes in the weather. A person who has always lived in a country’s warmer region may find it difficult to adapt to a country’s colder environment, such as Canada. This has an impact on how your body operates and regulates temperature, which impacts your health and leaves you feeling worn out, exhausted, and depressed.
  • Separation anxiety: Severe and persistent anxiety before leaving or being away from home or loved ones. Fear of losing your loved ones especially when you are in a relationship. These can lead to anxiety and depression.
  • Fear of Change: From a bedroom to a different world, everything would be a new beginning for you. Continuous thinking about these changes which you are going to face can arise anxiety. 
  • Fear of Social interaction: It would be difficult for those who are introverted to interact with new people. You would find it challenging to perform tasks when others are present – you can feel as though you are constantly being watched and judged. This may lead to anxiety and stress.
  • Cultural Shock: The first emotion you experience while planning to move abroad is culture shock, which makes you realise that you would no longer be in your place of origin. In reality, it was a strange place with a little familiarity. This leads to a sense of doubt, perplexity, and ultimately anxiety.
  • Fear of travelling- Anxiety regarding your intended destination. Feelings that prevent you from leaving your home because you believe you are the only person there who is capable of handling a crisis. All these can cause anxiety and worries before moving abroad.

Tips to Deal with Anxiety and Depression

Following are the tips that can help you in coping with anxiety and stress which arises before moving to a different country and impact your mental health before moving abroad:

  • Do not overthink. Overthinking is the root cause of stress, avoid any unnecessary stressful conversations with people and trust yourself that everything will be fine
  • Talk to someone you trust if you are feeling overwhelmed with the feeling of moving to a new place
  • Try to focus on something that diverts your thoughts. You can choose to do something creative or read a book or whatever you feel like
  • If you are feeling too burdened by the process take short breaks and go on short trips with friends or family.
  • Spend some time with your family and friends and talk about your worries
  • Focus more on the good aspects of moving abroad which will change your life in terms of personality development, career etc.
  • Spend time reading good books, listening to podcasts, watching movies etc. which will help you in boosting your morale and self-confidence.
  • Music therapy is known to provide some relaxation if you are stressed
  • Talk to a licensed counsellor who can help you pacify your concerns 
  • More than anything else, be there for yourself with a strong mindset and believe to keep your hand on your heart wishing “All is Well”

Also Read:

Study Abroad Challenges for International Students
The Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2023

Moving abroad is the best option if you enjoy change and novel experiences. You must reflect carefully on why you desire to live overseas in order to reach this stage. However, there is no reason why you shouldn’t live abroad if you are certain that you are heading in the right direction which will not only build your career but also alter the course of your personality development. To know more about studying abroad connect with our Leverage Edu experts.