How did expats deal with the pandemic?
Moving abroad, relocating is a stressful event in one’s life. Even in quiet times, when the world is not struggling with a dangerous virus. Now more than before, expats are encountering difficulties, questions, fears, insecurities. How did expats deal with the pandemic so far, and what does the future look like for them?
In the expat world, we are used to the idea that the world has become a smaller place. We travel easier, we move from place to place, country to country. Or at least this was the situation before the pandemic. A highly mobile global population is also one of the reasons that the coronavirus has spread so devastatingly. So now, expats found themselves in a particularly difficult situation, as it became clear that the virus brought unprecedented disruption to life.
Expats deal with the pandemic in different ways. Some expats have taken this time to reflect, meditate, develop new skills, put one’s daily problems into perspective. Others, however, have been struggling with anxiety, stress, loneliness, and isolation. What you can do to better deal with the situation:
- Try to bring stress and anxiety levels down using different techniques (find the ones that suit you better), focus on “here and now”, try to stay positive.
- Stay informed, but don’t spend all day reading the news. You have to stay up-to-date on how things are evolving, but if this makes you anxious, limit your news consumption.
- Have a daily routine that can give you a sense of control in these uncertain times. Make your place as pleasant and comfortable as possible, as you are clearly spending more time there than before.
- Use technology and stay connected with your family and friends back home. Maybe even try to find a regular time for social contact at least once a day, by phone, chat, video, or social media.
One difficult question expats had to find an answer for was: Should I stay or should I go? Things evolved quickly, so they had to decide fast. They either stayed in countries they found themselves in, for different reasons like better and/or free healthcare, their jobs, and so on. Some expats chose to go home, and some did not have a choice, because they couldn’t renew their visas and they were just forced to leave.
Here are general tips if you think of going back home these days:
- If you are returning home during this COVID-19 period, you may not get a chance to opt between a daytime and night-time flight. You also may not be able to choose your seats. So, don’t get too hassled if everything is not as per your expectations.
- If you have children, they may not get in-flight kids packs or extra snacks. These little things shouldn’t bother you much as they are not in your control. You can enjoy all these things once you land in your home country.
- Carry all the necessary things with you during your return journey. The long flight can be very tiring and boring, so carry your entertainment gadgets along with you.
And, most importantly, be realistic in your approach, and don’t worry about things that are beyond your control. Stay safe, everyone!