Now that we dealt the emotional stages before the move abroad here and know how to address them, we can say “bring it on, emotional stages after the move, we can handle you, heheheee!”
Most of us are worried about the logistical, administrative and financial aspects of the move, such as having the paperwork in order, finding a job to support our lifestyle, decorating our new home so it feels like… home. But once these are in place, something else happens: our emotions kick in. O-oh, this is not what I signed-up for… Now what?
Well, a move comes with the corresponding emotional stages, it’s just the way it is (“it’s neither good nor bad”, as Brene Brown’s therapist says). It’s normal and healthy and there are ways to deal with each of the emotional stages. We all go through them. By all mean, you are not alone. Now, that’s a relief!
If you haven’t watched the video in which we describe the 9 emotional stages after the move, find it here. It’s short and sweet, don't miss it.
Alright, I guess you want to know how to address each of the stages? Here's one strategy for each (and then I’ll tell you where you can find more).
“Hurraaay, I’m finally here and it’s so amazing!”, you feel like telling the whole world.
Use this heightened state and alternate between the discovery and allocating time for the settling in, especially from an administrative and logistical perspective. Learn how to do this in the Smoovster Step-by-Step Plan document, it's free!
“I’m so tired, there are too many new things in my life all at once!”, you think to yourself.
Set-up habits and create rituals to provide you with a sense of stability, while you deal with all the to do’s of this stage. Our Master Guide Moving Abroad: The Mental & Emotional has a Chapter: Managing Your Decisions, Willpower and Habits Successfully. It’s super very useful and practical tips on how to reduce your stress and tiredness when dealing with so much novelty in your life at the same time. Get your Guide here, at the price of a latte ;).
“Things are slowly getting better”, you can breathe again.
Enjoy this stage and recharge yourself with more self-care activities and start turning your attention towards activities you’ve wanted to do, but maybe didn’t have a chance to do since you’ve arrived.
“This is so hard, I miss everything from back home!”, you feel depleted.
Accept that this is part of your process and of living abroad and it’s OK. We have to give up some things, to make room for others. The immigrants we’ve interviewed have reported that it helps a lot to have family or friends visiting, to visit your home country or connect with people going through the same feelings as you are.
Additionally, we have outlined the most effective strategies of dealing with homesickness and grief in the second Master Guide, Moving Abroad: The Important, but Hidden. You can get it here.
“I should have never left my family, they need me.”
Continue to keep show your beloved ones how important they are to you, by: communicating regularly, as often as several times per week, sharing your feelings openly. Think of creating a long-term plan, e.g. to bring your parents after you receive your citizenship or to return to your home country in a certain number of years or bring your family abroad once you earn enough to support them. If you’ve been going through a challenging time and need support on this, please email me at email@example.com for a free call, to find out how you can address this.
“I’m am finally settling in, this is my new life!”, you tell yourself.
You have achieved so much, celebrate your success. Nevertheless, continue to learn, be open and curious, observe and most of all, start integrating, allow this new life to become part of you.
“If I was able to do this, I can do anything!”
Enjoy, but do not forget the help you received from other people, acknowledge and thank them¸ may they be your loved ones back home or your new acquaintances. Continue to be kind, grateful and help others who are now in your shoes.
“That’s it, I’ve had it, I’m leaving!”
We all go through stages like this several times. The best things to do is to wait until your emotional state calms down. Only then you should ask yourself: “Am I 100% sure that moving back is going to bring me what I hope it to?”
“I feel good, I have integrated the new life and the new life has integrated me”
It is time for you to acknowledge how far you’ve come. Look back and tap yourself on your shoulder for the journey. Congratulations for getting to this point!
For more details, tips and valuable advice on the emotional stages and challenges of moving abroad, access our 3 Master Guides:
They contain every aspect you need to know about to set yourself up for your successful move to the country of your choice.
You are amazing! Go for it! We’ve got your back.
One of the least discussed aspects of the move abroad is this one: our emotions. We experience them, for sure, but we tend to say: so many people have gone through this and they were fine, I’m just overreacting and… I’ll get over this.
Yes, I too trust you will, but the fastest, easiest and most effective way to get through your emotional roller-coaster (that’s how I like to call it) is to:
Hurrah! That doesn’t even sound that impossible, does it?
For a description of the 7 emotional stages before the move, watch this short video here.
So, do you want to know what are 7 ways in which to deal with your 7 emotional stages? (“Yeees!”) Well, then here’s a powerful strategy for each:
“This is the best decision ever!”, you are excited.
This is a wonderful state to be in. Use your energy to write a letter to yourself about why you want to move abroad. Be enthusiastic and positive in your letter, because you will need to read it when things get tough.
“This is going pretty well!”, you are calm and content.
Take as much time as you need in this stage and “milk” it. Do your thorough research as you can regarding the place you are moving to, because, as we say at Smoovster, information is power. This will help you reduce…
“Ohhh, this is too much, too hard, too stressful”, you tell yourself.
Now that the move date is set and the reality of it all sinks in. This is where the Smoovster templates come in handy. Under our “Free” tab you will find a “Step-by-step Plan with Checklists”. Remember, the big leap is built out of small, smart and purposeful steps. You’re doing amazing!
“Oh my God, what if this goes sideways?”.
Do not worry, this stage is as normal as all the others. We all go through it. Continue to do your due diligence, complete your research, do the exercises, check off the checklist items and follow the steps outlined in the Smoovster Master Guides.
“Is this really what I want?”, you ask yourself.
Once you start doubting your decision, it’s time to read the letter to yourself. See, I told you it will come in handy! It will lift you up and remind you why you are doing this in the first place.
“I can do this, yeah!”, you feel strong and confident again.
Once things start falling into place with your plans, continuously remind yourself of and celebrate the successes you have along the way. This will ensure that you hold on to this powerful state long-term. Great work so far!
“I’ll miss everything so much!”, you realize.
This is the time to commit to keeping in contact with people from your home country. You might not know it, but they represent enormous emotional support especially for the first months after the move. Also, make sure you say farewell properly…
Still feeling unsure? We have gathered all the best tips and advice on how to deal with the emotional stages before, as well as after the move from the many immigrants we’ve interviewed, in the third Smoovster Master Guide, Moving Abroad: The Mental & Emotional. This Master Guide is essentials for your successful move abroad and… it’s at the price of a latte. Get it here.
Congratulations for preparing so thoroughly on the move. You’re doing amazing! And we’ve got your back!