Jul 27, 2018
When living as an expat, life can hit you down harder than if you were living at home. You are surrounded by things you don't know speaking a language you might not be familiar with. And if you are prone to depression then it can be even more difficult to find ways to get out of a funk. Depression is not something anyone can just kick in the face and get over but there are a few things you can do to try and deal with it until you find the energy to kick it in the face.
Finding ways to relax
Many days I find myself low in energy, barely able to make it out of bed, let alone out the door. On these low energy days, I look for ways to relax and clear my mind. Self-care days to try and build my energy for when I really need it. This usually includes things like painting my nails, reading something either educational or uplifting or doing a craft. Something that makes me feel like I am doing something for myself without ever leaving my bed. Another thing I do is watch ASMR videos and or meditate. When I am having a high anxiety sort of day, ASMR videos can lower my heart rate and clear my mind.
Finding ways to stay active
When I have a bit more energy, I will try to get myself out the door and explore somewhere. Staying active can increase activity and it makes me feel productive because I am taking care of my body with exercise. When I lived in the city, I would often take a small train ride out to one of the more rural areas and walk around. I even took a walk to an onsen out in the sticks which has become a lasting memory because the family who owns it invited me to share dinner. Setting small goals are also a great way to continuously feel productive which is the best way I combat my depression.
Finding ways to stay in touch
As an expat, it is important to keep in touch with people back home. If you are anything like me, then when you are down it is hard to reply to messages and emails. Typing becomes strenuous. This is the perfect time to start asking all your friends for some face time. Use that social media to be social. Or if you don't want to touch your electronics at all, maybe take out a pen and paper and write some snail mail. It can be another great way to relax and be productive at the same time.
If you are suffering from depression, then seek help. Talk to those you know and get help. You shouldn't have to struggle alone and there are plenty of places to get help even in English.
American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too