While abroad, it is just as important to take care of your mental health as it is your physical health. Being in a new country and not knowing anyone can be difficult and may spark some new anxieties. Just know you are not the only one feeling this way.
Here are three ways I was able to manage my anxiety abroad in London:
1. Utilizing my Resources
AIFS is so fantastic because of all the amazing things that are included in the price, especially the on site staff and Resident Directors. I knew I was having trouble the first week and it was hard without my parents. I went into Nikki and Anderson’s office and I immediately felt at home. They listened to me, offered me advice, and gave me endless amounts of hugs.
2. Finding my Favorite Place
To escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, I escaped to Hyde Park. Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are steps away from campus and have over 600 acres of green space. Almost every single day throughout the semester I would take a five-mile walk in the park. I think the physical activity calmed my mind and the fresh air reminded me of home. Whenever I was feeling stressed or anxious, I knew it was time for my daily stroll.
3. Writing Things Down
First off, when you go abroad I highly recommend keeping a journal to write down what you do every day or every week. That way you can remember everything you did with more detail. Also, it is a good way to let go of stress when you write down what you are feeling. I would often bring my journal with me to Hyde Park and find a bench or a nice tree to sit under and just write. Expressing myself in a private way really helped.