Life Transitions and Expat Loneliness
Updated: Mar 20, 2019
Loneliness is a very common emotion for expats to experience at different times.
People tend to move in and out of your life because expat life is often a transient life, so you need to constantly make an effort to create community.
Then there is the loneliness that comes when you are going through a life transition AND you live abroad. Away from the support systems in your home country, it can make those feelings even stronger.
A few years ago I went through a major change as I moved from a life that revolved around happy hours, socializing, and overindulgence to a life that was healthier and more balanced.
When I decided to cut back significantly on nights out I initially felt lonely and bored. I didn't really know what to do with myself on the nights I would stay home and not drink.
How to deal
A lot of people talk about things you can do, activities to "fill the void." But I have a different approach. Here are the two phases I went through that helped me deal with loneliness:
1. I ALLOWED loneliness, restlessness, and boredom. I practiced just sitting and feeling these negative emotions. It wasn't going to kill me to feel lonely. It was uncomfortable, but not unbearable. (And it got easier the more I practiced it.)
2. I got CURIOUS. Rather than rushing into an activity to avoid or resist feeling discomfort, I asked myself - what could I be doing instead? What were activities that I truly wanted to incorporate into my life? What would feed my mind/body/spirit?
Although it was a really uncomfortable time for me, I look back on it with so much gratitude. Because I acted with intention, a lot of what I started doing with my time are things that have added incredible value and joy to my life.
Among them: I started bullet journaling, got into Korean skincare, hired my first coach, decided to become a coach myself, took a Reiki course, rediscovered a love for reading fiction, and joined health/wellness groups.
Working with me can help!
To learn more about how you can embrace discomfort to get the results you want in your life, book a free discovery session with me. We will work together to get clear about what you really want, determine what is holding you back, and identify powerful actions you can take to create your best life abroad. Book here: https://calendly.com/jenknight/free-session
Hi, I'm Jen! I am a US expat currently living in Thailand with my wonderful husband.
I always strive to learn, grow, and be the best version of myself, and I'm so grateful I get to spend my days working with amazing expat women like you:
Women who are smart and want to reach their goals, but need help overcoming obstacles so they can create their best lives abroad.