January 19, 2024 | Knowledge Bank

How to Cope with Stress as an International Student in the UK

Despite the excitement that may precede studying and living abroad, there are times when you may experience adverse emotions, such as stress and anxiety. It frequently happens alongside the feeling of culture shock living in a new country. It is natural to find yourself in this situation as you navigate your new lifestyle while also attempting to balance your academic and personal life. Therefore, understanding how to effectively manage your stress is essential. Here are a few tips to that end!

  • Unwind yourself 

On several occasions, an excessive amount of self-imposed pressure causes us to overlook our own needs. Try taking a break to relax and engage in activities that you are fond of e.g., exercising, journaling, socialising, travelling, etc. If you schedule a break once in a while, it can help you lower your stress levels (International Student Insurance, 2022). By then, you will also become more mindful of the aspects demanding your attention, including things that you need to do. So, you may break things down more easily and have more control of your day-to-day activity. 

  • Stay connected with family and friends

It is essential to develop positive relationships with your surroundings (housemates, colleagues, and family). Even simple activities such as picnics and group study sessions can help bring back the positive energy that you need. As an international student, allocating time with family members back home can also help with the feeling of loneliness. You could tell them what you are currently feeling whether it is through Facetime, a phone call, or a simple text message. Family support could alleviate your concerns and offer emotional support. Additionally, you could also try to maintain social connections back home. You can inform your friends of your current condition or even vent about the trials and tribulations of living abroad. Certainly, they will offer you some solutions or even a great laugh!

  • Be mindful of yourself

Undoubtedly, as an international student, you may have several concerns that are connected with your thought process, and what are they? Excessive worries! Feeling a great deal of anxiety or concern may have subconscious effects on your stress levels and may hinder your academic progress. By worrying too much, you eventually stall the work that you should do as you will be too nervous to do it, thus you will end up procrastinating. 

To successfully tackle stress, take several deep breaths and calm down. Try to be present in the moment as it can indirectly enhance your mind, sense of enjoyment, and ability to deal with challenges. If you are nervous about a class or test, you could treat that certain task as merely a challenge for your self-development. Shifting this point of view from learning as a burden to learning as a continuous process will change your perspective that studying is not only for passing a class, leading to a more positive outcome!

  • Ask for help! 

If at some point you encounter no significant improvement in your stress levels, most UK universities have support teams available to assist students with their well-being. If you require mental health support, the university’s well-being services would be a secure space in which you can express your feelings. They employ experts who would help your state of being through consultation sessions with a certified advisor to support groups. Alternatively, there are also several support systems in UK universities where you could get help and participate in communities, and workshops. Click here to learn more about the myriad of support services you could get in UK universities!

In the end, it is essential to prioritise ourselves when living abroad, and not be hesitant to ask for help, because eventually, it is okay to get a helping hand! Living abroad by yourself needs courage, thus it should never be considered as weak to prioritise yourself and take a break.

Having glanced at each of these tips for coping with stress, are you now interested in studying in the UK? Contact BritCham Education Centre for more information!