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3 Free Apps To Make Friends As An Expat

3 Free Apps To Make Friends As An Expat

Moving to a new country can seem like an awkward dance that never ends. Between finding housing, a job, and learning a new language (if you’re one of the unfortunates), it may feel that even achieving the basic comforts is a fairytale far from reach. It’s not just about relocating; it’s enough to travel for a month on foreign land, even a week, to long for human contact that is beyond your hotel’s receptionist. Not to mention those of us who are just plain lonely in their hometown!

When it comes to making friends as an expat, the obstacles become even more apparent. You’ll imagine that the city is filled with impossible cliques, pre-established friendships and everyday barriers blocking your path to new relationships. However, there are platforms that can make the integration process just a bit smoother. These are the apps, designed just for you, that will lead you toward friendship and meaningful bonds no matter where you are in the world.

Meetup

Meetup combines old-school methods of socializing with the ever growing technology sector. This app understands that the easiest way to make friends is by joining an established event and meeting like-minded people who are also on the hunt for new friends.

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Meetup gives expats an easy way to seamlessly immerse themselves in a new culture and solidify ‘a group’ along the way. Meetup operates in cities all around the world, with events ranging from hiking-oriented groups to meetups for techies.

Personally, I’ve attended dozens of meetups in London and in Tel Aviv. The experience is great, It’s just so easy to schedule, organize, meet and even speak at your own meetup. You get to piggyback the Meetup community and it saves you a lot of “advertising” your own event on your social profiles.

Butter

Want to make friends without the obligation of meeting up? Enter Butter, an app for making friends faster, but focused on connecting people from around the world. With its advanced chatting features, Butter allows you to talk to thousands of expats, travelers or residents from across the globe. If ever you are feeling lonely or homesick, Butter is the best community for sharing the observations and problems faced when living abroad.

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With arranged icebreakers such as “photo questions”, where users upload images with accompanying questions attached, connecting with other expats is a smooth and fun experience. Butter is not a single one-on-one chat, but an interactive experience with people in your area or other expats from around the world.

Friendable

Friendable is an app that attempts to recreate the warm and cozy feeling of BFF with already-established friends and total strangers. This app is perfect for expats trying to find their way around a new town with a friendly group of friendship seekers.

You can arrange group gatherings or more intimate meetups using local businesses such as coffee shops and pubs as social touch-points. You’ll also have the ability to chat before you meet in person, so you can discover similar interests and make plans that suit everyone.

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The 21th century is a cold, overloaded and high-tech-style era. People no longer roam the street acting nice and greeting everyone hello. While there is a lot of criticism of where technology has taken this all thing, there’s a lot of good to it too.

Thankfully, these apps provide ways of making new friends, whether it’s online or in person. With an abundance of resources, making lasting relationships in the new place you’ve settled is made simple and fun. Who knows what will they come up with next?

Do you have any favorite App you use to meet new people? Let us know in the comments.

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Featured photo credit: IMFree via IMFree.com

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Yoav Vilner

CEO at Ranky

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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