WAYS TO IMPROVE HOLISTIC HEALTH FOR
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS LIVING ALONE
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS LIVING ALONE
By Karthika Thomas
Counsellor/ Yoga Instructor
Helpful ways to manage your mental and physical
wellbeing while studying in a new country
Living alone in a different country? Do you feel lonely or isolated? Do you often feel low, depressed or anti-social? Do you lack motivation to do normal day-to-day activities?
Most people who travel overseas to study usually live alone in the beginning. It is normal to feel lonely, isolated, homesick and lack motivation in social activities. You may also start feeling hopeless, low or have no interest in socializing with other people and most importantly, feel depressed, anxious and stressed in general and possibly resort to drug and alcohol use.
I came to Australia early this year, to pursue postgraduate studies. I live alone, away from my family and friends. Personally, I have faced mental and physical distress earlier after moving countries.
So here are a few magic tips that have helped me a great deal and may help you also to feel better, enhance your holistic health and stay ‘SANE’.
A number of people travel abroad to pursue higher studies and prefer to stay alone, as they are new to the country or place. Remind yourself that you are not alone as many others are in the same situation as you and feel exactly the same way you do. Try to connect with people who are in the same boat as you. This may help you to meet new people, make ,friends and probably lead to renting a place that you all can live together in.
Video calls are the best way to stay connected to your loved ones. Skype,Zoom, WhatsApp, Facetime, Google Duo,are all several apps that people around the world use to make video calls. Ensure that you actively connect with your friends and family on a regular basis and communicate about your day-to-day activities. Video and voice calls are always better and more personal than reading someone’s texts.
Try meeting up with new people as often as you can. Connect with people who are experiencing similar emotional, social and mental health challenges as you. Plan a variety of social activities including lunch or dinners with your new friends and even travel together as it’s most important to stay socially active. Social drinking is fine but be mindful of getting into the habit of ‘binge drinking’ or taking any illegal substances. If you feel peer pressure to indulge in such activities, do not hesitate to reach out to professionals such as counsellors, student support centres and other assistance organisations.
Pay attention to what you eat. Treat yourself with some good home-cooked food. Try out new recipes and take your culinary skills to the next level. Include regular exercises in your daily routine. There is nothing better than feeling energised after a good session at the gym, yoga class or even just a simple walk/jog around the park.
If you are a pet lover, this is the best time for you to get a pet to keep you company. They say ‘A dog is man’s best friend’. You could also buy some indoor plants to lift up your mood. Caring for someone or something other than yourself will keep you and your mind busy on a regular basis. Getting a pet or some indoor plants will make you feel responsible and enhance your motivation to keep pushing ahead.
These are just a few things I have been practicing so far that has helped me a great deal. Hope these activities will be of help to you as well. In case you feel overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, anxious or have other physical or psychological concerns, do not hesitate to contact an appropriate health professional to seek help.
By incorporating these simple and effective tips to manage your holistic health,
you’ll be feeling so much more happier and healthier in no time
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