Working with clients in France, I am increasingly aware of the struggles many people face here. While people who move abroad looking for a better life or a new adventure often do find the happiness they seek, it is important to know that there can be tough days for all of us, and some people find it more challenging than others. I have lived in several different countries (including Japan, America and now France) so I can easily relate to the stories I hear. Phrases I often hear from clients include “I feel like an outsider”, “I feel trapped”, “I feel isolated” or “I feel lost”.
According to a survey by Internations (https://www.internations.org/expat-insider/2016/common-expat-problems), there are common problems experienced by people living overseas, and these include worrying about finances, adjusting to a different culture, coping with the language barrier, and dealing with changes in your relationship with your partner.
Obviously, we all experience problems in our daily lives such as having a bad day at work or not getting along with our spouse. Talking about your problems doesn’t mean you are being weak or negative, it just means you are dealing with the realities of life. These times are made more bearable though, by having a caring support system around you, and once you become an expat you often find that support system shrinking.
So, the point of my post today is to let you know that there is no shame in feeling that you are not coping well with your life in a new country, in fact these kinds of struggles are common. With Brexit looming many people are finding these issues are intensified as they face difficult decisions about staying or going back to the U.K., and all the while a new wave of people in Britain are considering leaving before the Brexit deadline to start that new life in a place in the sun.
If you are struggling at all, then reach out to your support system or consider talking to someone such as a professional counsellor. I offer a free 20 minutes where we can chat to decide if I am the right person to help you, and if not, I can direct you to the appropriate resources.
If the subject matter in this article resonates with you, then counselling might be a good option to help you to move forward. I offer a free 20-minute consultation so we can explore how I might be able to help you.
This article was originally published for my column at English Informer in France