Studying abroad was a big decision for me. I had never been away from my mom nor home. When I first arrive, I was very homesick and even started a countdown of the days I had left. Though at the same time I was happy to be in Europe. It was such an exciting time and experience for me. I was “Happy, free, confused… in the best way.” If you know my reference, then you know.
Anyways, there has been multiple coping mechanisms that have eased the stress of studying abroad. Like I previously mentioned in one of my other blogs whenever I feel stress I head to La Nena for a chocolate crepe. There’s just something about chocolate that makes me feel 10x better. Besides eating my stress away with chocolate, I found walking or enjoying the outdoors has truly helped. I typically take strolls in Gràcia or la Barceloneta. They are very relaxing and the weather for the most part is always nice.
Even though I am abroad I communicate with my mom daily. This has really helped my mental health. She has always been the rock that holds me together and talking to her has made it easier. We are very close and I feared that studying abroad would create distance, but it hasn’t… thankfully. I definitely look forward to 3pm and 10pm when I am able to chat with her about my day.
I have never been a “journal girl,” but journaling has helped abroad. I have found myself reaching for it when I feel any type of emotion, whether that is positive or negative. Journaling has helped me eases my mind. Once I write it down, my mind stops circulating the same thoughts over and over again.
Oddly enough, being abroad has gotten me into mediation. After a stressful day, I like to get on the Headspace app and just follow a guided meditation. There are different options based on your emotions, so whether I am feeling stress, sad, or unmotivated there is always a guided mediation to help.
In general I think it is important to keep in mind that it’s a learning experience. A lot of things are going to be different, but it’s okay. I think it’s important to always remind yourself why you chose to study abroad and the significance behind it. Some days will be great and others will be not so great, but in the end memories like these will never be forgotten.