Wellness and Mental Health Abroad


After the initial high of being bombarded with new stimuli in my study abroad home country, I started to feel isolated. My work plan was going well but going home each day without contact with my regular community was saddening. Being self-aware and understanding these feelings made me more deliberate in my actions to pause and refresh as often as I need to counter these feelings.

Below are 5 things I’ve found essential to keep myself motivated and on track with my program while studying abroad.

  1. Keep a Routine (Sleep, Eat, Exercise)

One of the best ways to start and end the week on a high note is to keep a routine. It’s important to wake up at the same time every day, so I must resist the temptation to put the alarm on snooze. To make sure I’m well-nourished, time to eat is allocated in my schedule. Exercise is also key to relax and refocus.

  1. Don’t Stay in Your Room All Day

Some days I work from home, and although it’s tempting to sit in my room to work I’m deliberate about working in common spaces. Working in a common area gives me an opportunity to interact with others and removes the temptation of procrastinating by taking multiple naps.

  1. Make Time to Socialize

I usually wait for invitations to do activities after work. Now I extend the invitations and continue to be encouraged to do so as all the responses have been positive. My most exciting outing to date has been my first fishing trip. The people I’ve met in Barbados are welcoming and kind.

  1. Change Your Scenery

Sometimes all I need to do is go for a short walk. Or jump on a bus to the city or to another parish. Or my weekly walk to the grocery store can sometimes suffice.

  1. Do Things on Your Own

Studying abroad has made me more comfortable with exploring on my own. Looking up what’s there to do in Barbados on any day will provide a plethora of activities to choose from. So far I’ve really enjoyed live music near the boardwalk right on the beach.

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