How to feel positive about a move abroad
In a previous post, I looked at what can happen if one partner doesn’t want to make the move overseas. Feelings can run high; or feelings can run very low allowing depression to set in, so it’s vital to attempt to change the negative attitude towards the relocation as soon as possible.
This is much easier said than done, however, so here are some more tips to help you shift this mood.
As a trailing spouse, it can sometimes feels like you’re losing control of your life, especially if you are well settled somewhere. So many compromises have to be made, and – let’s be frank – it’s usually the spouse who has to make the biggest compromises. It’s easy to feel trapped.
So, what can you do to help overcome this reluctance?
Change your perspective
See if you can focus on the overall benefits to the whole family as this can help you make sense of what is happening in your life. Be open and honest with your partner about your feelings and work together as a team to overcome the issues. This will help build your bond and strengthen your relationship, making a tough move easier on everyone.
Margarita Gokun Silver of the Global Coach Center advises the following:
It is extremely easy to become stuck in a disempowering perspective, “I love it here, it will be awful there” is a sure-fire way to a difficult relocation. An interesting exercise is to ‘try on’ another perspective. Look at the move from someone else’s point of view… What would be the perspective of your partner, your child, your dog, or your best friend?
It may seem strange at first but playing with other perspectives opens up more possibilities to look at the issue differently, and ultimately finding a more inspiring and empowering perspective. The fact of moving isn’t going to change no matter how much you hate it, but changing the way you look at it will create a shift in attitude.
Another suggestion is to try this game – it’s designed to help children but works perfectly well for adults too: How to get excited about a move in 10 minutes.”
The ‘Gratitude Quest’
Linda Janssen recommends the ‘Gratitude Quest’ which is something I already knew about but had mislaid in my brain until prompted! This is one of my favourite ways of lifting my mood. It will work absolutely anywhere and at any time. Try it now, and use it when you reach the dreaded new destination.
The idea is to find three things every day to be grateful or thankful for. It reminds me a little of the prayers I was encouraged to say at my Grandmother’s house when I was a child! But you don’t have to be religious in any way for this to work. Think of them as affirmations if that’s more palatable.
Get out and about, go exploring and get active and then, every night, think of three new things you can be thankful for. These can be anything, for example; receiving an invitation to a social event to meet new people, a budding friendship, discovering a new favourite family food, learning five new words of the language or discovering something interesting about the local culture.
This simple exercise really does improve your mind-set, which then improves how you cope with the transition.
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These are two awesome suggestions — in the end it’s all about taken control of and being super aware of our thoughts. It’s a difficult solution, but very simple if one is willing to do the work.
Hi Allegra! Thank you for your kind words. It does sound simple, but it takes a lot of strength and mental effort to take charge. Worth it in the end, of course!
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This is great. I needed it.
Thank you, Julie. I’m glad you like it and hope it’s useful to you.