On Combatting the Expat Blues

by - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I'm just gonna get right to it. I mentioned in a previous post that expat life aint all that; okay it is, but not always.

Sometimes the feeling of missing the familiar becomes too much, I had one of those moments last week despite being consistently busy since my arrival. And like many people in the education field, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Even though the sun and temps are still blazing here, and even though Fall is typically my favorite time of year back home, this time of year has a downside for me and a lot of other people.

Shutter stock image, for dramatic effect ;-p


As an introvert, "me time" is a usually a lifestyle. I become anxious when I'm out of my element too long (read: entertaining humans). It's an overwhelming time of year at work and I have to be mindful not to bring any home. And in my line of work, it's imperative to take care of yourself when you're feeling down. Here's how I do it in Doha:

Exercise-


A couple of my fitness classes

The simplest, easiest, free.99ist form of self care and it's so underused. I hired a personal trainer and joined aerobics classes on campus. So far so good. My body has got into the habit of craving high impact exercise, joints and weak lungs be damned. Hurts so bad but feels so good afterward.


Painting-

An evening with Paint the Town Qatar


I used to enjoy the hell out of painting as a youth and I thought I was pretty good at it. As my career planning began to take focus, I stopped doing it. There are paint n sip classes here every week that I've taken an interest in, my next one is this Thursday. I intend to decompress and then hang the end result on my bare and pitiful walls. 

Sleeping-


I have become much better at putting the phone down and turning the TV off when melatonin sets in, and since I've adjusted, I'm usually out for the count around 8 or 9pm. Yes, 8 or 9; official old lady status. And for the first time in literal YEARS I'm consistently sleeping more than 4 or 5 hours a night. Sensational. As a former insomniac this feat is truly priceless. 


Cooking-


You read that right :) the queen of delivery is back in the kitchen. I'm not a chef, but I can follow the directions on a recipe, plus I did a bid in Rosa Mae's kitchen as a child. Cooking has always either been avoided or therapeutic for me. I'm leaning toward the latter these days. It will be chicken and dumplings tonight and I will make the dumplings from scratch like Rosa Mae taught me.


Music-

Spotify, well worth the 10 bucks a month.

I call it feeding my soul. Since I carpool to and from work and I'm with a chatty group, I don't have the time that I used to have when I walked to and from work (in Korea) to get a few songs in on my Beats and get me going for the day. Every now and then, and at the most random times, I'll get the urge to jig. At that point I'll stop what I'm doing and get a Spotify playlist going. I can't begin to tell you what music does for my soul!

Blogging-


Based on previous history, I didn't do it as often as I'm doing it now. Reflecting on how blessed I am to live the life that I live has become important to me. I want to remember every detail of the adventure if and when it's over. This here blog is the proof.

Travel-

Google reminders to get excited about.

Per usual! And as soon as this embargo is over I'll be on the road again to nearby locales more often (hey Dubai, hey Oman). I will be checking off some big deal bucket list destinations this year, and Lord willing,  I'll be getting a second chance in a dream destination that I didn't quite get to do right.



That's all I can think of for now. These might seem basic to one who has access to action but they're a big deal to me. 

I really slacked on self care in Korea. I had the worst anxiety of my life living there and I often let it go unchecked, not here. Not anymore. 

The weather is cooling down and I'm finally gonna be getting out and about more. There's a lot here to explore, and I'll allow myself to look forward to it.

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