When studying abroad, one might find themselves worrying about multiple things, whether it’s moving to an entirely different country, finding the right accommodation, making new friends, or even staying in shape and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are several ways through which you can make sure that you remain in sync with your dietary needs and eat healthy in a sustainable and affordable manner. This is your guide to eating and staying healthy as an international student in a foreign country!
Always plan ahead for your upcoming week. Whether it’s planning your lessons, your outings, your meals, or your breaks. Having a solid plan is the first step to a healthy and organized lifestyle. Planning ahead not only saves you time but also keeps your mind at ease, devoid of any stress and anxiety, which in turn contributes to a decluttered mind and an overall healthier study abroad experience. Make sure your plan includes more than just lessons and studying, add in exercises, grocery shopping, adventurous outings, and some relaxing time for yourself.
Hydration is one of the often overlooked forms of self-care that allows our bodies to not only remain healthy, young, and refreshed, but also prevents any necessary forms of fatigue or headaches you might encounter throughout your day. Make sure you carry a water bottle around with you at all times, set reminders, and get your daily intake of water to remain on the healthy life path!
Getting in your daily hours of workout and exercises not only boasts your physical health but also contributes rather positively to your mental well-being as well as your overall mood. Research shows that exercising on a regular basis motivates the individual and maintains high spirits and a genuinely elevated mood. Exercising does not have to be just going to the gym or doing extreme workouts, it can also be a stroll in the park before classes, cycling, or even walking from one place to another in the city you’re staying at. Mediation is also important for keeping the body and the mind in top-notch condition. While exercising has its own set of bodily and mental benefits, meditation also makes for a calmer, stress-free mind, as well as a relaxed body that prepares you for the tasks and errands you have to get done.
The concept of meal prepping has become popular over the past couple of years, and for good reason! This is a time-saving method that allows you to stay healthy, and on budget, what more could one possibly ask for? Meal prepping is a simple concept with its whole basis being: setting a budget, doing the week’s or month’s grocery shopping, and preparing your meals for the said time frame. The meals are set to fit your regular diet regimen and are easily stored, reheatable, and can be eaten at home or packed to-go for you to enjoy at your university during the break, or even at the park after your morning run. This method is generally helpful in maintaining the ideal healthy lifestyle that helps you remain fit and stay in shape while studying abroad.
A huge part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle relies on you getting your much-needed rest. Studying abroad is an overwhelming experience on its own, try to incorporate some time for yourself and take breaks as often as you can. Sleep deprivation is a harmful consequence of studying abroad, try to avoid it as much as possible by adding timed rest to your daily routine. As exhausting as the study abroad experience could be, maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires a daily 8-hour sleep.
A healthy lifestyle is made complete through a healthy diet. Incorporating healthy foods into your daily regimen enhances your chances of a better lifestyle. Your main diet should include food rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and fibres. Food staples like rice, lentils, and pasta should be a part of your daily diet, add in some fruits and vegetables to that as well, and you should be set for a healthy meal! Healthy eating is complemented by a good and sound eating schedule. Start your day off with a healthy breakfast of oatmeal or a fruit smoothie, followed by a protein bar for a snack to give you an energy boost and regulate your blood sugar in the process, then make sure you have a healthy lunch and dinner that combine carbohydrates with your favourite greens. This is merely an example of a schedule you can follow, but planning your meals is a subjective experience that can differ depending on your preferences and dietary restrictions.
As important as physical well-being is to a healthy lifestyle, mental well-being is also crucial. Apart from medication and a clearly-formed plan, there are plenty of other ways through which you can maintain positive mental health as well as an elevated mood. You can express yourself as a means of decluttering your mind and getting rid of any unnecessary stress or anxiety. You can do this through talking, writing, drawing, or engaging in any forms of arts and crafts that may serve as a form of relaxation or stress relief. Keeping a journal is also helpful, as well as having someone to talk to, whether that is a friend or a professional in case you need that. Being in a new environment can trigger a lot of negative thoughts and feelings, this is why surrounding yourself with healthy and positive individuals is important.
These are barely a few brief points that would help you on your study abroad journey. Just remember the basics: fill up on greens, stay hydrated, and do not skip that morning walk!