Beating burnout is possible
Are you an expat living in Germany? Are you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted? If so, you are not alone. Burnout is a common problem among expats, especially those who are new to the country, and it can be debilitating. Fortunately, there are ways to beat burnout and thrive in Germany.
In this article, we will discuss five powerful ways expats in Germany can beat burnout and thrive. From setting boundaries to taking time for yourself, these tips will help you stay energized and motivated in your new home.
How to Manage Stress and Avoid Burnout as an Expat in Germany
Living as an expat in Germany can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be stressful. From navigating a new culture and bureaucracy to learning a new language, there are plenty of challenges that can lead to burnout. If you are just starting to feel the pressure of a burnout, here are some simple, but powerful, tips to help you manage stress and avoid burnout as an expat in Germany.
1. Take Time to Relax: It’s important to take time to relax and unwind. Make sure to schedule in some “me time” each day to do something that you enjoy, such as reading a book, going for a walk, or listening to music. It is also essential to set boundaries and prioritize your time. This may mean saying no to social engagements or work tasks that are causing undue stress
2. Connect with Others: Connecting with other expats or locals can help you feel less isolated and more connected to your new home. Join a local expat group or find a language exchange partner to practice your German.
Another great resource for expats is support groups. There are numerous support groups available for people struggling with burnout. These groups offer a safe space where you can share your experiences and connect with others who are going through the same thing. They can provide valuable advice and support as you work through your recovery.
3. Get Out and Explore: Exploring your new city or town can help you feel more connected to your new home. Take some time to explore the local sights and attractions, and get to know the area.
4. Self-Care: Practicing self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in regular exercise. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and boost your mood. Make sure to get some physical activity each day, whether it’s a walk around the block or a trip to the gym
5. Eat Healthy: Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you stay energized and focused. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
However, if you are deep into a burnout phase, perhaps it started before you arrived in Germany or maybe you are thinking about moving to Germany to get better help and support for your burnout – you should have a better understanding of what is available to you. So let’s get to it!
Getting medical care and time off for your burnout
As an expat in Germany, you have access to some of the best healthcare services in the world, including mental health care. The German healthcare system is renowned for its excellence in treating burnout, which is a common issue for many people living and working in the country. The first step in seeking help for burnout is to see a doctor who can assess your symptoms and recommend a course of treatment, which may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.
If you are feeling unwell due to a toxic work environment, bullying, burnout, or other similar issues, it’s essential to find a sympathetic medical practitioner who understands your situation. In Germany, you can see a general practitioner or a psychiatrist who can prescribe time off work as a first step. They may recommend a week or two off initially and then ask you to come back and see them again. Or, if they identify a greater need, they may give you up to six weeks off work. Remember that there is no upper limit for sick days in Germany, as long as you have a medical certificate.
If you need more time off work after six weeks, you can always go back to your doctor and ask for more time. Your health insurance company takes over the costs of your salary from week seven, so you don’t need to worry about losing your job or your work permit. It’s essential to take time off work if you are feeling stressed and burned out, as it can prevent further damage to your mental health.
If you are looking for more structured support, there are also numerous therapy options available. Many therapists in Germany specialize in burnout and can provide a tailored approach to your recovery. This may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, or other forms of treatment.
If you find that your medical practitioner or their staff is not supportive, it’s important to find one who is. You can see another doctor if you get an unhelpful response from your current one. It’s your right to take time off work if you are feeling unwell, and you shouldn’t be afraid to exercise it. Don’t let a negative experience with a medical practitioner stop you from seeking the help you need. There are many sympathetic doctors in Germany who understand the challenges that expats face and are ready to help you overcome them.
Dealing with burnout in Germany can be a daunting task, but there are numerous resources available to help you manage it. The healthcare system, support groups, therapy, and lifestyle changes are all valuable tools in the fight against burnout. It is important to remember that burnout is a process, and recovery takes time. It is essential to be patient with yourself and take things one day at a time. With the right support and mindset, you can overcome burnout and live a happy, healthy life in Germany.