How to deal with mental health issues while studying abroad

Life is often stressful for those Indian students who are pursuing higher education abroad. Other than the pressure to live up to their parents’ and relatives’ expectations to do well in studies, they have to adjust both physically and mentally to a way of life that is new to them. Such stress, in the long run, could cause irreparable damage to one’s mental health.

Keeping this in mind, Student Cover, in this blog, tries to provide certain tips that could be helpful to such students in dealing with mental health related issues such as stress and anxiety. They are as follows:

1. STAY IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS BACK HOME – Family and friends are a great source of strength and psychological support. It helps a student cope with feelings of loneliness and desperation. In this day and age where one can have a face-to-face conversation with family members through video chat apps, one should take out time to talk to family members or friends at least once a couple of days. This will help them maintain their social life and not feel homesick.

In the meantime, one should also try to socialize with other fellow students in the college or university. Such socialization helps exchange of ideas, interests as well as common problems and difficulties.

2. FOLLOW A ROUTINE – One of the main reasons for stress, especially those related to studies is due to lack of organization. Following a routine helps prioritize activities based on their importance. This also prevents important tasks from piling up. However, while following a routine does not mean that one should spend all his or her time doing routine tasks only. A good routine is the one which includes periods of rest, work, study, play and socialization.

3. EAT HEALTHY, LIVE HEALTHY – As they say, you are what you eat. Studies have shown that eating healthy and nutritious food helps both body and mind. Those who eat foods that have high quantities of fat, sugar or carbohydrates instead of vitamins, minerals and protein have a higher risk of not being able to cope with stress as compared to those who eat vitamin, mineral and protein rich diet. One should not consume too much of alcohol and avoid other types of psychotropic substances as they hamper one’s cognitive abilities in the long run.

4. EXERCISE AND MEDITATION – Daily exercise and meditation are one of the best natural remedies against stress and depression. Regular exercise helps keep the body fit by burning excess fats, improving circulation of blood in vital body parts including the brain. Meditation on the other hand helps a person to bring down the level of anxiety and stress and thereby help him or her think calmly. One should spend at least half-an-hour doing regular exercise and 10-15 minutes meditating.

5. THINK POSITIVE – One of the ways to stay mentally fit and away from stress and anxiety is by removing

negative thoughts from one’s mind. One can get positive thoughts by reading books, listening to podcasts or attending talk shows hosted by motivational experts. Motivational books, lectures or podcasts often consists of real life examples of ordinary persons who have done well in life. Such examples help remove pessimism and develop self- confidence which in turn helps one to cope with stress and other such problems in life.

6. TAKE MENTAL CARE BENEFIT FROM INSURANCE PROVIDER – For students who are studying in a college or university in the US, student health plans such as Student Cover Elite (SC-Elite) and Student Cover Plus (SC-Plus) plans provide cover for treatment and counseling for stress, depression and other such related psychological ailments. Students who have purchased these plans can avail these benefits from Student Cover. To know more about these plans, visit www.intlstudentcover.com.

Let’s Wrap Up!

Mental health is as important as physical health. Those students who go abroad for higher studies should stay in touch with their family members as well as socialize with fellow students in order to avoid the feeling of loneliness. Eating healthy, following a routine and doing regular exercise and meditation also goes a long way in helping the student cope with stress and depression. Other than that, students should try to think positive and make use of mental care benefits provided by their insurer.

Disclaimer: The content of the blog is based on personal research of the write. Readers’ discretion is advised. Neither Student Cover nor the write will be held responsible for any wrongful interpretation of the content of this blog.

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