For many of us, living in a foreign country can be a difficult and sometimes a lonely experience. However, living in a foreign country while there is a pandemic going on, makes it that much harder. Meeting new, like minded people, talking to friends face to face , and finding ways to occupy ourselves becomes a challenge and it is easy to fall into bad habits or unproductive routines. However, there are plenty of ways to counter this and make your life during the pandemic, as rich as possible.
While you might want to keep a track of the number of cases in your city or your home country, don’t get sucked into the constant pursuit of information. It’s easy to make a habit out of checking the latest updates, but at the end of the day, knowing the number of cases won’t make the situation end any sooner. It’s fine to have a look every now and then, and it’s definitely useful to know what the current restrictions are, but there are more important things to focus on.
Since our lives before coronavirus were generally structured around daily activities such as work or study, the absence of these routines can really change the way we spend each day. Even if you don’t have these normal commitments that force you to get ready and go outside, make an effort to wake up every day at a reasonable hour. Get dressed like you normally would, do your normal morning and evening routines. During the day, make time to go for a walk and get some fresh air. Go to sleep at a reasonable hour – ideally at the same time each night. Adding structure to your days is a crucial step in maintaining good mental health.
Just because your gym might be closed doesn’t mean you can’t exercise – there are plenty of workout videos on YouTube, calisthenics and home workouts you can do. They have the extra benefit of being completely private in your home, so you don’t have to worry about others watching you exercise. Just be considerate of your downstairs neighbours when doing so! If a home workout is not your thing, then going for a long walk can be a good option. Find a podcast you enjoy, and listen to it as you get some fresh air.
More time at home means more time to yourself – so you have no excuse not to spend that time as well as you can. Instead of just throwing together a quick breakfast, you could put a little extra time to make something really nice. Start a new hobby, learn a new language, read a new book, learn a new skill, practice an old one – there are countless things you can be doing with your ample alone time. With the amount of free material readily available on the internet, you can learn anything you can think of from the comfort of your own home.
While we’re talking about the usefulness of the internet, we can be grateful that we are living in an age of instant communication. The fact that you can video call anyone across the world is something to be truly thankful for. The pandemic would be much harder for everyone without this kind of technology, so make use of it! Call your friends and family, send messages – take a few moments every day to catch up with someone you know. Even if you can’t meet in person, consider playing some party games together over Zoom!
Whether it’s ordering coffee or even going to a convenience store- these small daily interactions may be the only face-to-face contact you regularly get. Make some small talk and wish whomever you’re talking with a “Good day” or a simple “Annyeong Haseyo”. Since we can’t have large gatherings, you have to make do with seeing one or two faces at a time. Even saying a simple thank you with a smile can brighten up a day.
At the end of the day, we can’t let the existence of a virus control our lives too much. In this kind of a situation, we simply have to adapt to a new way of doing things and continue with our lives as best we can. We hope this article was of use to you – make sure to follow Embassy of International Students on social media and let us know what you think of this article!
By Ewan Smith
Image: Internet source