Living abroad comes with a lot of unexpected challenges and many might find themselves not being able to cope with them. Loneliness and culture shock can have serious consequences and may even sometimes lead to a mental illness if you’re not sure what to do. But luckily, technology is making sure that you have access to the help you need, no matter where you live. In honour of World Mental Health day, here are some of the ways you can take care of your mental health abroad.

Bring familiar items from home

When loneliness kicks in, it often leads to homesickness. Sometimes, all you need is a single item to bring you that comfort and settle you back in familiarity. It might not always work, but just sometimes, having a picture, a toy, or even a book written in your own language can help reduce the feeling of homesickness.


Connect with your loved ones

With Skype and Whatsapp being one of the most popular tools of communication for people abroad, it’s now easier than ever to get in touch with your family and friends. Schedule frequent calls, preferably on the same day at the same time and just discuss what’s happening in everyone’s lives.

Connect with fellow expats

But it’s not just family that can help you - your fellow expats are most likely going through the same thing! Browse Facebook groups, check out Meetup, or simply do a Google search to connect with fellow expats in your city. You’ll be surprised how many of them are experiencing the exact same feelings. By being there for each other, you’ll be building strong bonds of friendship as well as reducing your symptoms.

Pause and take deep breaths regularly

Our thoughts can easily overwhelm ourselves and we often don’t exactly know how to get back on track. Meditating regularly comes with plenty of benefits, including enhanced self-awareness, anxiety reduction, and increased emotional health. Some of the best and most popular meditation apps include Headspace and Calm.


Seek professional help

One of the biggest disadvantages of living abroad is not having access to professional help in your language - depending on where you live, of course. This might often discourage people who feel like they can’t express themselves as well or cannot understand the language well enough to carry a conversation. Luckily, there is more than one way to get professional help when you feel like your mental health is derailing during your time abroad.

Both, Talkspace and BetterHelp work on a similar principle - they connect you to a real life 100% professional therapist you’re able to text or make video calls with every week. Pricing for each service varies, but you can choose to pay weekly or monthly, depending on your preference. Both services are widely recognised and offer a range of therapists that have experience dealing with various types of issues.

Whatever you’re going through, just know that there’s help out there available. It does get better.