9 Best Ways of Staying Healthy as an International Student

Staying healthy as an International Student is a tough deal to figure out. It takes more than just eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep to know how to stay healthy. Consistent effort and awareness are necessary. You must establish a regimen that you can maintain over time.

It might be challenging to fit in time to look after your health when you’re rushing around for class, writing papers, managing group projects, and balancing a social life.

Even though studying abroad is challenging, there are many ways for students to maintain a healthy lifestyle despite their hectic schedules.

We are happy to share with you a step-by-step approach to being healthy while studying abroad. Whether it’s through walking everywhere, throwing potlucks, or just asking for help, we are happy to let you know that success simply requires sticking to the basics.

1. Keeping physical health in check

Exercising and Getting Outside.

Exercises, such as taking a walk in an open space, cycling, and sports, should be done many times each week to maintain a healthy weight and assist in creating strong bones and muscles. Additionally, these activities lower our stress levels and make us feel better after sitting still for several hours in a library or classroom. Consider spending time outside every day, irrespective of the season. Exercise goes well with sunshine, fresh air, and the outdoors. 

What’s better, working out with pals is more enjoyable. Additionally, it increases your accountability. Invite a friend to accompany you on an evening stroll once in a while. According to research, walking for just 20 minutes a day, five days a week, has numerous advantages, including improving immunological function. It’s a fantastic way to keep active while in college.

Staying Healthy as an International Student

Eating Your Greens.

It’s simpler than you might imagine for college students to eat healthily. It requires awareness, or paying attention to the foods you choose and how they make you feel physically. The most important advice for college students on maintaining a healthy diet is to visualise their body as an engine: So that it runs well over the long term, you want to add the proper fuel. Make sure you’re receiving a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats when it comes to macronutrients.

Try to fill your plate with entire meals, especially fruits and vegetables, to add a range of hues. Limit sweets and processed foods as well. Modesty is important. If in doubt, look at the packaging’s nutritional information. Drinking a lot of water throughout the day is the key, first and foremost. To put it simply, eating the correct foods is essential for staying healthy and warm. Aim to eat frequently and refrain from skipping meals.

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Sleeping Well and Keeping up with Hygiene.

Many students stay up late, which deprives them of sleep. Your body will use stress to keep you awake if you don’t get enough sleep. You’ll have a reduced immune system, which will make you more prone to illness. To guarantee you get enough sleep to replenish your body and keep focus in lectures and classes, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every night and morning.

Going hand in hand with excellent health are excellent hygiene habits. Recent years have seen a significant increase in the importance of food safety and cleanliness. Cleanliness in food preparation must be taken into account in addition to your regular kitchen hygiene practice, especially when handling perishable goods like meat.

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2. Looking after your headspace

Sharing Your Emotions.

Did you know that suppressing your emotions can be harmful to your health? It has been linked to heart disease, digestive issues, headaches, insomnia, and immunological disorders, according to research. Therefore, acknowledging your emotions is the finest thing you can do for your health.

Next, discover healthy methods to let things go. This involves writing in a journal, shouting into a pillow, or simply singing your heart out. You won’t benefit by holding all of your sentiments within and allowing them to fester. One may also be motivated by mindfulness practices, as many people have been shown that they benefit from them, whether it be through meditation or just pausing for a moment to concentrate on the present.

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Fostering a Furry Friend!

Love animals? Why not adopt a furry companion? Research has demonstrated the profoundly favourable effects pet therapy has on our psychological well-being. With animal therapy, students at Purdue University showed a 43% decrease in a physiological indication of anxious activation.

Fostering a pet is inexpensive to free because most rescue organisations will pay for all food and medical expenses. You just need to give your small pal all the love you have to give. This serves as a reminder that being healthy involves more than just moving your body through exercise. The key to maintaining your general health is to have a healthy mind.

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Making Community and Friendship a Priority.

You weren’t made to navigate life by yourself. Social media creates the appearance of connection, but face-to-face engagement shouldn’t be replaced with screen time. 

There are many ways to foster close relationships and a strong sense of community, including organising regular movie or lunch dates with friends or coworkers, joining a club or organisation on campus, going to events and meeting new people, volunteering, participating in a hobby or sport you enjoy, or getting in touch with an old friend over the phone or video. To prevent burnout, it’s also important to get enough alone time, relaxation and sleep to avoid burnout.

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Seeking Out Professional Help.

It is typically a very good and life-changing experience to live and study abroad. The difficulties that come with moving to a foreign country can, however, occasionally be extremely stressful.

You must talk to someone at your university if you suspect that you may be experiencing mental health issues. Consider sending an email or talking to a friend first if you don’t feel comfortable approaching someone directly.

Although student life might be hectic, it’s crucial to make an effort to find time to reflect on your mental health. Don’t be scared to ask for assistance if you feel something is wrong or if you are having trouble.

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3. Taking your Spiritual Health into Consideration

Connecting with your Faith Community

43% of the population claims to belong to a church or other religious organization, according to Gallup research. These houses of worship provide several opportunities for community interaction and support for people with mental health conditions. Religion can help some people find spirituality; it can’t help everyone. The path to spiritual wellness is not good or bad.

Find a group or person who agrees with your viewpoints and get in touch with them, whether online, by phone, or in person. Find a means to connect with like-minded others in your religious community who can support and encourage you by reaching out to a pastor or other spiritual authority.

“During the pandemic, many people’s support systems had been taken away from them—church, volunteering, support groups,” said Carrie Wester, a chaplain with Banner Behavioral Health Hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Those who already had mental health problems found it extremely difficult. I urge people to reestablish contact with their religious group as soon as it is safe to do so physically.”

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Practising Spiritual Wellness Activities

Yoga, meditation, journaling, and time spent in nature have all been shown to help develop complete and balanced spiritual well-being. Yoga can benefit your mind and spirit in addition to strengthening and stretching your body, by easing the signs of depression, stress, and anxiety.

Similarly to this, even five minutes of meditation each day can improve your mindfulness and help you manage stress, despair, and anxiety. There are some great guided meditation applications, like Calm or Balance, if you need help.

Writing can help you process your feelings, improve your awareness, and provide a safe area for you to express your feelings right now. Write your concerns and fears, or begin a daily gratitude journal with prompts.

Your spiritual health can also benefit from spending time in nature. Disconnecting from your phone, your day, and your problems is inevitable. It might be relaxing to spend even a short while observing the birds, the trees moving with the breeze, or the waves breaking on the shore.

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Prioritising your health and wellness is crucial for leading a happy and fulfilling life. By making small changes to your daily routine, such as incorporating exercise, eating nutritious foods, and taking time to relax and de-stress, you can greatly improve your physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

Remember, self-care is not selfish. It is essential for maintaining a healthy balance in your life and being the best version of yourself. So, start taking small steps towards a healthier and happier you today!

We encourage you to share your own experiences and tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the comments below. Let’s support each other on our journeys towards wellness!

Luvya Bhatia
Luvya Bhatia

An upcoming M.Sc. Communication and Media student at University College Dublin, with a B.A. (Honours) in English Literature from Amity University, Noida, India. Previously worked as a travel journalist, content proofreader and social media intern in India with a number of different media organisations. Specialises in working on Travel and Lifestyle pieces for Babylon Radio.

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