Leaving home, moving to a foreign country, living in a capital city and starting your life in a new university is, without question, a huge life change. It’s exciting and fun but also very scary. Some people find navigating change easier than others but nobody is expecting your life in Paris to be a total breeze. When you’re busy with essays and your mental health is taking a turn for the worse and you’re starting to feel a bit homesick, it can be hard to look after yourself on even a basic level.
Here are a few basic things you can do to look after yourself on a day to day basis.
Eat a balanced diet
It’s easier said than done, but trying to make sure you get your five a day is a great way of making sure you’re looking after your body. Better skin, stronger bones and teeth, a sharper mind - what’s not to love?
Buy a big bag of frozen vegetables and add it to your pasta! You’ll be a picture of health in no time.
Join one of the sports societies : running, yoga, football etc. all have regular events that you can get involved in. It’s good for your body, it’s good for your mind and you’ll be able to make some new friends too. Check on Facebook or contact the society heads directly if you would like to know when the next event is.
Not all flats in Paris come with beautiful high ceilings and tall windows that offer lots of light. Many apartments don’t have any windows in them at all and even the ULIP basement offers no sunlight. It’s important to get yourself outside for at least 20 minutes every day. This will help to increase your levels of vitamin D, get you moving around and will help to clear your mind.
Keep in touch with people from home
The first trip home can go one of two ways in terms of homesickness. It can either make you miss home even more or can reassure you that you’re actually growing a lot as a person at university. If you live in a place like London, where it’s easy for you travel to often, try and avoid popping home for the weekend.
Surround yourself with your new friends
Surrounding yourself with your Paris friends and doing things you enjoy can really reduce stress and will make you happier. Hang out with your buddy, come to uni events, make plans with class mates. Keeping yourself busy with new people can be really good for you.
Get involved in the community
Getting involved at uni is something that looks amazing on your CV and helps you to feel more at home at ULIP. There’s still some officer roles that haven’t yet been filled so if you’re interested, please contact India or Clara.
If you’re religious, feel free to check out the Faith and Religion tab in the welfare section of the SU website for more advice on places of worship in the city and what it’s like to be a person of faith in France.
Talk to someone
If none of these are working for you and you’re still feeling low, then please do not hesitate to reach out to someone.
If you would like more advice on resources, please come and speak to the Welfare Officer (Ellie Kerr) during her office hours: (awaiting confirmation in September) in the SU.