Education plays a pivotal role in the development of one’s personality,
career and outlook towards things around them. Studying abroad helps this
process grow manifold as it helps an individual evolve, become independent,
responsible, and provides a much needed boost to their career. But everything
comes with its own challenges and pain points and so does living in a foreign
land for a better life. Students live on their own, in a new place, immersed in
a new culture, speaking different language, exposed to a number of different
things. The first few weeks seem like a joyride for you are in awe of
everything around you and it can be overwhelming. However, as time passes and
the thought of staying in a foreign country sinks in it might take a toll on
your mental health.
Mental Health is very integral to having a happy and fulfilling
international education experience. A mental crisis must not come in the way of
your future and jeopardize the rest of your stay abroad. There are a number of
ways in which you can tackle your mental health problems and keep your mind
healthy and away from all kinds of toxic thoughts. This write up deals with
ways and means through which students can keep their mental health in perfect
shape while studying and having the time of their life abroad.
STAY IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Leaving home, family, friends, and your country can be extremely
overwhelming and gut-wrenching. It is a big challenge in itself and traveling
to a foreign country is an even bigger challenge. The best way to tackle
negative emotions and thoughts is to maintain a healthy relationship with your
friends and family back home. Talking to your loved ones acts as a buffer and
keeps bad emotions at bay. You must do things that boost your spirits and talking
to family acts as a de-stressor and will give you positivity.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN A NEW CULTURE
Culture shock is common when moving to a new place especially in the West.
You get to experience a number of new things and unlike your home country these
cultural differences will be difficult for you to comprehend. Most countries
such as Canada, Australia, USA, UK, France, Germany, etc have vast cultural
differences which can be too much for a student. The best way to get through
this is to immerse yourself in a new culture, get to know the locals, read
about them, interact and let things flow. It is imperative that you increase
your knowledge about the country and area you are studying in.
SPEND TIME WITH YOURSELF
The decision for international education is a major one and before you
decide to travel abroad for education you must be comfortable with your own
presence. In a foreign country, you will make friends, meet new people and have
the time of your life but a number of times you will be on your own and will
only have yourself to bank upon. You must be able to spend time with yourself,
do things you like, take care of your physical and mental health and love
yourself. A number of activities like journaling, meditation, music, solo
travel etc can help ease your mind and soothe your soul. You must remember the
primary pre-requisite to being happy in a foreign land is to be at peace with
yourself and have confidence.
Exercise is the best and most robust form of keeping your body and mind healthy.
A healthy body is the first step towards a sound mind and hence, you must make
sure you take some time out in your day to do some physical activity. It could
be gyming, running, calisthenics, aerobics, dance, or anything that relieves
your body of all the stress. Whenever you work out your brain your brain
becomes more sensitive towards serotonin and norepinephrine which relieves the
body of pain and brings in positivity. Exercise is great for people suffering
from anxiety or stress.
Traveling is an antidote to stress. When you travel to a new place, you get
to meet new people and for a moment you forget your own issues and worries.
Weekend getaways can be your go to and you can even cultivate traveling as a
hobby. To travel is to get educated in ways you can never imagine and hence, it
is a great way to keep your mental health in check. Investing time in traveling
is the best utilisation and it will change you as a person and help you evolve
into a better version of yourself.
CULTIVATE NEW HOBBIES
It is never too late to cultivate new hobbies and learn new things. In
order to keep yourself distracted and better your mental health you must try to
work on developing a skill or doing anything you love. It could be creative
like art, painting, sketching or physical like any form of physical training or
reading watching movies and tv shows. Anything that provides an outlet to your
emotions and makes you feel better. Creative activities are a great way to
de-stress and help you keep yourself occupied thereby, leaving little or no
room for overthinking or stress.
TALK IT OUT
A very vital aspect of keeping your mental health in check is to be able to
express your feelings and thoughts. Even though at times it feels difficult to
put your thoughts across to others, it is in your best interest to talk it out
and not face everything by yourself. Sharing your feelings and fears with a
friend or a therapist is one of the best possible solutions to tackling your
mental health issues. Talking to someone and sharing your thoughts can help
lighten the burden and make you feel less lonely. If you feel the need to speak
to a professional, you can see a therapist and share everything for he/she will
have no reservations or judgments. Almost all universities and colleges abroad
have mental health counseling for students and you can seek that service as
Mental health issue have been and are still stigmatized in today’s world. There are innumerable people across the globe who are in dire need of mental health support and counseling. Most of these people feel intimidated to share how they feel or even acknowledge their issues. But as a student studying abroad you must remember mental health is the most important factor in determining your success and such issues may leave an indelible mark on your personality.