You’re 18 months into a 24-month contract abroad but you feel demotivated every time you come to work. You can’t quit, though, because the financial fallout is unthinkable. How do you deal with burnout when you’re working abroad?

What’s Your Goal?

When you’re an overseas contract worker, it’s a given that you can’t just quit when you feel like it. You have to deal with the cards that you are dealt with as best as you can. What was your goal before you got here? What were the sacrifices you made in order to go abroad? Think back to when you did not have the financial security back in your home country. The hours and hours of reviewing for licensure exams. The days spent queueing to get this job. The emotional stress of preparing for this move. Are you willing for all of that to be for nothing?

Talk It Out

How to Deal with Burnout When You’re Working Abroad
Talk to a friend

Sometimes, all you need is the chance to vent out, to rant and rave about everything. My sister once said that people confide in her, not because of the counseling that she provides, but because she just listened. People didn’t really need her advice, they just needed a person to talk to. Talking also gives you the chance to listen to yourself – it can be that you knew the solution to your problem all along or that you will realize that you just needed to vent.

Be Busy

What if the problem is that you have too much time to think? I know that you’re busy at work and if you’re a nurse, probably run off your feet as well. It’s when you’re alone in your room and you think about your day that it hits you – you’re sick and tired of your situation. Is it something that you can change? If all you can do is to accept it, then change what you can.

Change Your Routine

How to Deal with Burnout When You’re Working Abroad
Go on weekend adventures!

Take some time to decompress. Watch a movie with friends, take up yoga, write a blog. Take a different path when going to work, eat at a different restaurant. Explore the country on weekends and join an expat community. The key is to focus on something else. My father once said that a problem is like a penny. Hold a dollar over it and you won’t be able to see the penny anymore.