- Have you had enough of moving house /country every couple of years or so?
- Do you feel tired all the time?
- Do you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle; like the amount of work you need to do is simply beyond your reach?
- Are you weary of trying to keep everyone else motivated when all you get in return is resistance and denial?
- Do you feel like throwing in the towel and heading home?
- Has it all just got too much?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you, or your loved ones, may be suffering from expat burnout or, to use another phrase, change fatigue.
What is change fatigue?
Change fatigue is a feeling of exhaustion, resignation and hopelessness and it happens when we’re bombarded with a series of changes in quick succession and don’t give ourselves the time or the space to make sense of them.
The first thing you need to know is that this is a recognised condition of the human mind and you are not alone. The changes you need to make are not beyond your reach, youcan do this; moving to another country is an amazing opportunity and you are not a failure for sometimes thinking otherwise.
Change fatigue is a feeling of exhaustion, resignation and hopelessness and it happens when we’re bombarded with a series of changes in quick succession and don’t give ourselves the time or the space to make sense of them. Which is exactly what happens when we move abroad, because we just have to get on with things.
Change fatigue is commonly associated with businesses undergoing transitional periods and there is lots of material and advice out there for employees and managers – but what about when the problem is at home and your expat life situation?
Whether we’re talking about a new job, a new home, a new baby or even something as trivial as a new brand of washing powder, change is uncomfortable and as a species we tend to avoid it. We typically build our lives around routine and we feel most secure when our days are structured and invariable. So, by uprooting and moving to a whole other country, you have broken the mould a lot – good for you! Even the most adventurous expats can become fed-up and depressed by the constant pressure our day-to-day life puts upon us.
Now you must learn to change your mind set, embrace change and support those around you to do the same. Easy! (#noteasy)
How to conquer expat burnout
Everyone is different (my mantra!): For many people this expat exhaustion is something that will pass – it may be just another part of expat life we have to get through. Others may find themselves in the grip ofdepression. Expat depression is real and well documented online. Please seek medical help if you feel this sounds like your emotional state.