Getting out of the funk: An expert’s guide

It’s been a tough week. My son suffered a severe anaphylactic attack and we suspect he’ll now have lifelong allergies, my newborn has bronchitis and I’m getting over pneumonia. Oof.

But I’m positive that we’ll get a grip on my son’s allergies. I’m thrilled my blog seems to be taking off. I’ve met many wonderful people here in Chile that I can call on as my expat family.

Sure, at times expat life can be tough. It can be lonely, intimidating or downright petrifying.

Expat life and the challenging path to positivity

If you’re reading this in your pyjamas, struggling to get out there and show your face, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there.

This got me thinking: some people seem to exude positivity. Some people build a career from the ground. Some people defy the odds to make their dreams come true.


One such lady I came across through social media is Katie J Wren, a fellow British Northerner who upped her life in the UK, swapping Manchester for beach side living in the US. She now works as a business and life coach, helping fellow women, expat spouses and mothers achieve their goals.

She’s been through a painful divorce, post partum depression and built a business from scratch. She’s now a happily married mum and counts 25,000 people in her team, spread across 27 countries.

Here she shares her tips on making the most of expat life, on building a career from scratch and getting ‘out of the funk’:

Happy you, happy kids

I love being a mom and one thing I tell my team and followers is that you deserve your own life too. Having kids doesn’t change your need to have your own goals and dreams. Kids are an extension of you, so if you’re living your best life, your kids will absorb that too.

Step out of your comfort zone and into the community

Get out there into the community as quickly as you can. Get involved in a church, project or volunteer group to meet people and feel connected. It means stepping outside your comfort zone, but it’s worth it. Take a deep breath and do it.

Socialise from your heart

Socialising and networking can feel very intimidating. Giving in to negative voices in your head can make you feel miserable, anxious and depressed.

So shift to your heart.

Put your head up, shoulders back, chest up and walk in to the room asking yourself: who can I impact today? How can I add value? Let people see your heart. Let people see how you can add a value to their life.

Happiness, joy, fun, fulfillment and love come from here. This is what people want to be around. Be that person!

Set yourself up with positivity

Listen to something positive daily – set your alarm to some good music, have a nutritional breakfast, take a walk.

Set your intention for the day: what do you want to achieve today? Even if it’s to have a shower, do that. If it’s to go to a coffee shop and read a book, do it. Baby steps. And each day this will bring you to a better place of being.

Seek counsel too. If it gets unbearable, get help. Speak to someone, a professional.

Forge your own path

I can’t stress enough how important it is to set your own goals.

We need purpose, a reason to get up every day. A need to be part of something, to have fun, to contribute, to grow as a person.

Whether you start your own business or venture, or get a job don’t wait, do it. Don’t let fear hold you back. Isolating yourself isn’t going to change anything. Isolation will merely drive a wedge between you and the people you love. Feeling part of something, building something is so important for us women!

Eat, move, meditate

Everything comes down to diet. If you’re eating crap, you’ll feel crap.

Exercise. Try out different exercises and find a class to suit you. I love yoga and HIIT classes, they’re a great way to meet people and discover the area.

Meditation is also great tool – breathing does amazing things to the soul. Living in a state of gratitude daily is super powerful. You can’t be sad, scared, upset or angry, or harbour any negative feelings when you’re grateful. It’s a beautiful place to live in!

Decide to take action

Living a positive lifestyle doesn’t come from reading or listening to things, it comes from deciding. Deciding every day to be that person.

You’ve got to make it happen for yourself. No one else can do it for you. Get out of the funk. Get out there and be resourcefulness. Find your goal and keep going until you’ve found it.


Katie J Wren is the founder of Upgrade Your Lifestyle, a programme centred around helping mothers and women create their dream life, a community driven by sisterhood – helping each other thrive in health and happiness.

For more information on life coaching with Katie or becoming an ambassador see: or follow Katie on Instagram @katiejwren 

The Expater is not affiliated to Upgrade Your Lifestyle or related businesses. Photos courtesy of Katie J Wren. 


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