Studying overseas is an incredible experience that can transform your whole life. While it is rewarding in more ways, it can be a bit stressful at times.
The sudden change in your daily routine, adjusting to an unfamiliar environment, and managing everything on your own can give you bouts of homesickness, cultural shock, stress, and anxiety.
While you may get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your new life, don’t forget to care for your mental health, as it can be problematic when ignored for a prolonged period.
And to help you cope better with your new life’s challenges, we have compiled a list of six essential tips to maintain and improve your mental health when studying far away from home.
Incorporating mediation in your daily routine has many benefits: Decreased stress, improved concentration, lower blood pressure, and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
So whether you are staying in student accommodation in Bristol or student housing in Edinburgh, you can meditate at any time of the day; however, it is preferable to practise it the first thing when you wake up or the last thing before going to bed.
All you have to do is:
- Find a calm and quiet corner in your student room.
- Spread out your mat onto the floor and sit on it in a comfortable position, preferably in
- For beginners, it is best to set a timer for no more than 10 minutes; moreover, you can choose to begin with a shorter duration than even this.
- Now, begin inhaling and exhaling. Initially, your mind will wander off to many thoughts, but you can learn to control that with time.
- Whenever you are done, slowly open your eyes and feel the bliss.
- Voila! Enjoy!
You can also download meditation apps on your smartphones like Calm and Headspace. These apps have a unique feature to customise your meditation to various background sound effects, such as the sound of sea waves, cave, aquascape, rainfall, and more., which works wonders when you can’t find a quiet place to focus properly.
Talk to your Loved Ones Back Home
It is always a good idea to call back home to your loved ones. Whether discussing a long stressful day at your university, picking up a fight with someone, or having trouble adjusting to your new life, communicate everything that disrupts your peace to your friends and family.
Smooth communication is now possible across borders, thanks to the phenomenal rise of the internet and social media in our lives. Be it a phone call, WhatsApp text, or video call on Skype, talk your heart out to your friends and family. It will not only lower your stress but also boost your self-confidence.
Maintain a Journal
Journaling has a therapeutic impact that helps significantly in self-exploration and stress management. You write down your running thoughts in a diary or journal without judgment, fear, or criticism and set yourself free.
Journaling allows people to put their thoughts and feelings together and help them gain crucial self-knowledge, sometimes by coming up with solutions to the problems on their own.
You do not have to buy a diary or journal necessarily for it. You can begin writing in a document on your smartphone or laptop but make sure it is protected by a strong password if you do not want any intrusion.
It is best if you journal daily; however, occasional journaling can also be stress-relieving.
Invest your Time in Fitness Activities
Fitness activities are good for both your body and mind. Whether you plan to enrol in the early yoga class, weekend ballet dancing school, or are binge-watching Youtube videos on a quick home exercise; you must start immediately!
When you work out, your brain’s sensitivity to serotonin and norepinephrine rises, relieving feelings of depression. It also raises endorphin levels in the body, necessary for creating happy sensations and decreasing pain.
If you are staying near Cambridge University or Cardiff University accommodation, you may find a plethora of options for joining these fitness classes. This is an excellent way to boost mental health and make new friends in your host country.
Indulge in Self-Care
Who does not like taking care of themselves? If you don’t, then you must!
Self-care is about taking the time to do things that help you improve your physical, emotional, and mental health.
Practise Self-care activities to feel calm and relaxed because we become resilient and handle life’s stress better when we are at peace with ourselves. So while you work hard at your university, it is also essential to care for yourself. Start by:
- Taking a nutritious diet and drinking plenty of water every day
- Having a good skincare regime–daily, weekly, and monthly
- Working out 3-4 times a week
- Going for a brisk walk in nature
- Engaging your senses by drinking herbal teas, lighting a scented candle, listening to soothing sounds, and more
- Avoiding smoking and reducing alcohol consumption.
Seek Professional Support, if Needed
Reaching out for help is crucial when experiencing prolonged symptoms of anxiety, stress, or depression.
Contact your student welfare team or any mental health support provided by your university. It should be your initial point of contact, as your university will be able to assist you immediately. You can also reserve an appointment with a local counsellor.
Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. People who get appropriate care timely recover quickly and fully.
Are you searching for an ideal student accommodation abroad?
Amber assists hundreds of thousands of students worldwide by providing the best and affordable options for booking a home. We are continually upgraded with the latest COVID-19 protocols and would be eager to help you find the home you desire. You can visit us on our Instagram and Facebook pages for more updates.
Harshita Anand is a postgraduate in English Journalism and a graduate in Hotel Management. She has worked in a varied range of industries and with people from all walks of life. Her enriching experience sparked her interest in constantly learning new things about the world and writing passionately about them.