An Expat Guide To Happiness - advice from our Happiness Coach #1
June • 6th, 2020
by Julie Leonard
An Expat Guide To Happiness
Moving to a new city is difficult for many of us. Once the novelty of our new life settles down, our reality of our new life appears and we have to adjust to all the changes.
For some this is the period when we can feel alone, low in mood, anxious and sad. However, as a Life Coach and an Expat I can share with you many ways to make your new city your home and to increase your happiness.
Before I even moved here I began to think about my social network. I’ve always been a busy, social person and enjoyed seeing friends almost daily when I lived back in Scotland. I was fortunate that I spent 18 months traveling to Munich to visit my boyfriend before I moved here and knew that it was going to be essential for my happiness for me to meet people outwith my boyfriends network, to make friends of my own.
A couple of months before I permanently moved to Munich I joined Internations. A platform for connecting International people living an expat life. Friendships have always been a priority for me, a necessity and so I knew in order to be happy here I needed to find friends. Lydia Denworth suggests in her book Friendship: The evolution, Biology and Extraordinary Power of Life’s fundamental Bond, that we should give equal importance to forming friendships as we do to eating healthily or working out. We are naturally social beings with a need to cultivate connections. Research shows us that having close friendships correlates directly with good physical health as well as increasing our levels of happiness.
So I encourage you to get out there and find your tribe. Join Internations, Meetup or Expat in the City and the many FB groups in your area and find your tribe. I found one close friend via Facebook when I saw her amazing jewellery for sale and we hit it off, another when we went to the same Mother and baby meetup (the one and only time we went) and another in the playground!
And not only will you meet amazing people, you will often discover new hobbies and interests too.
More from Julie Leonard:
Julie Leonard is a happiness evangelist, life coach and speaker - 'with 30 years of Psychology, Health and Coaching experience, I can help you change your life and feel truly HAPPY'