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Tips on Staying Physically and Mentally Healthy While Studying Abroad

November 15, 2018
by Evelyn Little
View of Cap d'Antibes
For this blog post, we are going to get a little personal—in a good way! 

It’s easy to assume that homesickness will set in when you travel abroad for an extended period of time. For me, I was shocked that I didn’t feel too homesick for the first month and a half. I was so happy to be here in Antibes, and in the French Riviera in general, still getting to know my surroundings and meeting new people every day. It was about mid-October when I really started missing everything about home – the people, my pets, my everyday schedule, and even things as simple as the weather.  

At first it all hit me like a train. I was confused as to why I felt like I just wanted to go home, even just for a weekend to soak in all that I was missing. Then, I realized it was because we had almost finished all of our excursions, so we were much less busy than we had been throughout September and the first half of October. We had all set in to our schedules, and it felt less like a vacation; we actually live here. 

Here are some of my tips to combat any feelings of anxiety or depression when feeling homesick:

- Take some time for yourself, go for a walk or treat yourself to a nice meal.
- Go to brunch with friends, it will feel different than your regular schedule, and you might even find a new favorite place!
- Enjoy your surroundings. Finding new nooks and crannies of where you live can create a whole new feeling of positivity.
- Feed yourself WELL—this one I can’t stress enough; if you aren’t eating well, your body will feel it!
- Drink as much water as possible, because it will help you to wake up in the morning more easily, and feel more refreshed than the day before.
- To help you feel more at home, take some time to watch TV shows or movies that you used to watch when you were younger. For me, this means Christmas movies (shameless obsession).
- Make a playlist of some of your favorite songs, especially ones that make you feel calm and remind you of good times.

These are just a few things to get you started feeling more at home in a place so far away from home! Always remember that in order to feel fully yourself, you need to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally—there is no shame in your happiness game, my friend!

Evelyn Little is the Fall 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France, and is currently studying at Washington State University.
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