Studying abroad, whether it’s for your degree in architecture or another field of study is exciting, but at the same time, it can be filled with a lot of stress making it difficult to manage stress when studying abroad.
From the pressure to succeed to the stress of being in a place far from home, the pressure can get to you.
There are also physical consequences of stress when studying abroad as well. You need to relieve the mental and the physical stress if you hope to succeed in your field of choice, with your health intact.
With that being said, read on below for a few of the top tips for managing stress when studying abroad.
1) Physical Stress and Pain Relief
Hours of bending over a computer desk studying, especially if you are in a program that requires a lot of writing or drawing, can lead to severe neck pain and even permanent damage to your neck. The question “what is cervical traction?” is heard quite often by doctors from patients who are studying inordinate amounts of time. While this treatment plan is usually reserved for more severe cases, it can be helpful.
One of the best ways to prevent yourself from having to seek medical treatment is by taking frequent breaks from studying. Activities such as hiking to a waterfall or snorkeling with sea turtles will not only help you with exercise, but you’ll be given a new breath of fresh air to stir your creative juices a little.
After all, if you are in traction, then you’re not going to do very well on that final exam you were cramming for anyway, now are you? It’s also a good idea to take hot showers or visit a natural hot spring to work out the kinks in your neck after a long study session as well.
2) Manage Stress – Take Mental Health Days
Not only are you studying abroad, but you are in a place that many people use as a vacation spot instead. While you are there to study and you want to graduate with honors from the program, you have to take mental health days to just unwind and let your hair down…so to speak.
It’s important to take at least one to two mental health days a month to ensure you are properly taking care of yourself. Plan an outdoor adventure or visit a nearby travel destination. Whether you’re studying abroad in Amsterdam, exploring the food and wine scene in France, or spend a weekend exploring Alicante, Spain there are always nooks and crannies of a city waiting to be discovered.
3) Join a Group
Staying cooped up in your room studying all the time is going to get to you after a while. You are abroad, so you should take advantage of it when you can. Join a few groups. Try CouchSurfing abroad or attend a club and explore some of the best group vacation travel ideas.
Whether it’s skiing on the weekends or joining a writing club that meets on Thursday nights, socializing is a great way to relieve stress and your grades will be better for it in the long run.
4) Don’t be Too Hard on Yourself
While you have every intention of being the studious student that never makes anything under a 99 on a test or a paper, you have to be realistic with yourself. The worst stress you can go through is being too hard on yourself and thinking you aren’t good enough.
These are just a few tips to help relieve physical and mental stress when you are studying abroad. Remember, yes, you are there to learn, but you also need to let your hair down and have some fun. Your health depends on it!
How do you like to manage stress when studying abroad?