Studying abroad may be an enriching and enjoyable experience. You are self-sufficient and alone across the globe, immersed in a completely different culture, exposed to a wide range of foods and viewpoints, and have the potential to establish lifetime friends in a short period. Although the first few weeks might be an incredible rollercoaster for many, reality can hit hard after that.
You are not just going to be gone for a few weeks or months, but an entire semester. Many people may feel panicked and concerned due to this revelation, but there is no reason to worry. It doesn't imply you're alone just because you're halfway around the world.
You can reach out to your school's mental health hotline and the IES Abroad mental health hotline, depending on your program or school. You can locate the exact number on the IES Abroad or your school's websites, or you may email your adviser for it.
There are additional strategies to reduce the impact of homesickness and take care of your mental health while overseas, in addition to these resources.
Talk to your friends and family back home.
It can be difficult to study abroad on your own, and you may feel alone at times. You must, however, retain your composure and preserve your ties with your friends and family back home. Talking to them can help you de-stress, and they will offer moral support if you require it. Being in touch with friends and family is a fantastic way to stay informed about your loved ones while also keeping you grounded during a stressful period.
Like some cities in the UK and USA, finding accommodations with a quiet corner are always bustling with noises and fast life. It would be best to choose the accommodation that gives you peace of mind like Cardiff, Leeds, Nottingham etc. where you're free from the fast life and have stability when you get back home from a busy day.
Spend time with yourself to recuperate and reflect.
In a single day, while studying abroad, you also attend various events and participate in a variety of activities. All of these things build up day after day, becoming psychologically and physically exhausting. You become more aware and self-conscious of how particular activities and situations make you feel and how they influence you by journaling and reflecting on your everyday life.
In addition, because you must sit down, relax, and reflect on what has happened in your life, journaling has a therapeutic impact and leaves you calm. If you suffer from anxiety, writing can help you organize your thoughts and figure out where your mental condition is at.
Any activity, such as weightlifting, calisthenics, yoga, or simply strolling, will help you relax. When you exercise, your brain's sensitivity to serotonin and norepinephrine rises (which relieves feelings of depression). Exercising also raises endorphin levels in the body, which are essential for decreasing pain and creating happy sensations. If you suffer from anxiety as well, exercising might help you feel better. As a result, exercise is a fantastic method to stay physically and mentally fit.
Utilize your creative side
Drawing, singing, editing photographs or films, digital art, painting, music, and other creative pursuits are all excellent ways to keep your mental health in check when travelling. Even if you have no prior experience with these hobbies, giving yourself time for self-expression and awareness through these activities can help you de-stress and gain confidence. You'll be engrossed in your creative world, oblivious to the difficulties that surround you.
Meditation has been used for ten thousand years across the world. To get the advantages, you don't even need to meditate for hours on end. You may start small and stay persistent in getting the benefits of meditation, such as stress reduction, anxiety management, mental health promotion, blood pressure reduction, and more.
Join a group
Whether it's to volunteer at an English center or take a Tuesday night salsa class, joining a club is a fantastic way to establish stability in an otherwise inconsistent life. Frustrations will begin to creep in once the honeymoon period of studying abroad has passed and things no longer appear to be so ideal.
Journaling helps me unwind and make sense of things after a long day. We write down how we're feeling and then question why I'm upset or pleased. Are we upset that a buddy who came to visit from home has just left? Do I rejoice because one of my pupils came over to sketch with me for three hours? What can I do about my unhappiness, and how can I continue to do the things that bring me joy?