For those of you women expats supporting your partners abroad (aka; trailing spouses) you can find yourself with nothing but a whole lot of time on your hands and this can be liberating and also frustrating.
Liberating because it's a wonderful opportunity to explore your new home, community and culture. You are able to immerse yourself fully and take the time to learn how living abroad (or in a new country) is going to play out for you and your family. It is also an opportunity to explore more about yourself and get a better sense of what really makes you happy, brings you joy and what you want in your life.
It can also be frustrating in the sense that 'too much time on your hands' can be 'too much time in thought'. What I mean by this is the more time we sit without purpose or joy, we tend to live in our heads and create stories that bring us down, mentally and emotionally (and sometimes even physically).
Maybe some of you can resonate with the duality of these two concepts as an expat and maybe some of you are already living in the groove of a well balanced expat lifestyle. Either way, we are always bound to hit a wall at some point and it's important to know how to get yourself away from it and back on track.
Making the most of your day, every day, is just as important as having a full time job. Look at it as though you're investing in your body, mind and soul. Be mindful and take care where YOU are concerned. In order to support the ones we love we must be supportive and loving around ourselves so that we can offer our very best to the outside world.
What I've learned, and works best for me, is the art of journaling. I love to write! So having a daily journal where I can list my intentions, goals and actions for the day has become a ritual for me. It also keeps me on track and less likely to forget what my thoughts were earlier in the day (sucks getting older!) It's also a place where I can write down my dreams and the things that I want to create in my life, whether that's professional, personal or spiritual. Creating a blog whether on your travels/experiences, wellness ideas, etc...can also be a great outlet to reaching out to the community!
I also try and connect with people, every day. Connection is what we all crave for and I enjoy meeting new people and making friends wherever I am. I love having insightful conversations with strangers or just idle chit chat...it makes me happy. I believe I get the extroversion from my father. I have always admired his ability to make people smile and laugh with his warm and inviting spirit. I make a point to get outside EVERY day and sit in nature, spark a conversation with a stranger, or journal in a cafe... getting outside is the key here!
As we all know, exercise is a huge part of our self care and love for ourselves. We need to stay fit, eat well and feed our souls with positive thoughts and kindness. Being kind to ourselves can be a lot harder than one might think. We can be our own worst critics and before we know it, we're stuck in a loop of scarcity and limiting beliefs that hold us back from what we truly want in life. So take the time to exercise the body, walk regularly, take a class from time to time, stretch with yoga or do whatever makes you happy. Keep moving and be kind to yourself!
Make the most of your day and create your happiness :-)