5 tips to feeling happier in your new country

5 tips to feeling happier in your new country

An international relocation can be both exciting and daunting. Fortunately, there are some small steps that can immediately help you feel more at home in your new country...

1. List the reasons you came here

Give at least five and elaborate on each. For example, "I moved to Singapore as I wanted to travel more around Asia" or, "The contract in the Netherlands will really add to my credentials". Doing this reminds you of the positive sides to the move and helps you focus on your original purpose, goals and dreams during tough times.

2. Take your time as you make new commitments

Don’t expect to rebuild an entire life overnight; be kind to yourself. Revel in making fresh, new choices, but don’t push yourself to learn everything in one go. Before tackling each challenge, ask yourself, "Am I being GENTLE with myself?"

3. Put up photos of your previous life...

... or give mementos pride of place in your new house. This way there is connectivity between your past and your new life. Moving can bring a sense of loss, but mementos remind us that love and good memories are not gone. They will always be in our hearts, no matter how far away we are from each other.

4. Talk about it

Share your feelings with someone you trust and who understands your experience; someone you feel you can relate to.

Take advantage of modern technology (often the only constant in our mobile lives!) and use Skype, Facebook or telephone if you haven’t yet found a friend in your area.

You are not alone in this... it’s likely that others are feeling, or have felt, sad during an international relocation. Together you may come up with ideas to feel less down.

5. Get involved in your new country

Ask questions about the way of living; start (or continue with) a hobby; have fun experimenting with local cuisine; enjoy local music and traditional dance; sign up for language lessons if you haven’t already...

Vivian  Chiona


Vivian Chiona

Vivian Chiona is the founder and director of Expat Nest (, which provides emotional support to expats and their families through online counseling services. A bicultural, multilingual expat with family...

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