Nurturing your mental health

Moving countries can be tough but there is always help at hand.

Mental health conditions can have a substantial effect on all areas of life, such as school or work performance, relationships with family and friends and ability to participate in the community. Two of the most common mental health conditions, depression and anxiety, cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year (WHO, 2019).

Moving from your native country is an exciting idea but not everyone is ready for it. However, some of us who have enough courage to do it, knowing that we are leaving behind our comfort zones, cultures, families and friends. Within courage, there other hidden emotions such as fear, anxiety, frustration, etc.

Sometimes we are not used to dealing with them and prefer to run away from our situations and emotions, as we don’t know how to release them or ask for help from a mental health professional. This is problematic as it can lead us to abusing alcohol, drugs, engaging in relationships toxic or experience depression. During the coronavirus pandemic, many people started experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression due to the change in daily routines, and even since returning to normal, there are people who are still suffering from this social anxiety of getting back in touch with other people. Despite the fact that humans are social by nature, having been isolated for so long has caused us damage at a pathological and emotional level. Despite the amount of emotional trauma currently experienced by so many, the global median of government health expenditure that goes to mental health is less than 2% (WHO, 2019).

Personally, after moving to Germany, I initially felt confused by the difference in zones, and the weather. This was followed by a feeling of loneliness as when I arrived in Germany, my classes were still online, so connecting with society or finding a new social circle was not easy. It led me to fall into a deep depression as I felt so foreign to everything, the customs, language and society. Then I made the brave decision to start therapy, and realised that in reality I was not alone, and this was just a stage people go through when starting from scratch in a new country. Therapy helped me to realise that some of my greatest fears only existed in my head, which led me to have a calmer and easier new life, far from my hometown.

By Rosa Yolanda Reyes Hernandez, MBA.

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