Even traveling abroad, self-care and mental health are important. Like any long trip, studying abroad lets homesickness sink in and just general exhaustion to get in your way as you experience time abroad. These past few weeks have been a little tougher than usual as a portion of my program with Arcadia involves a 4-week internship. We are holding a 9-5 every weekday, so we are generally very tired after a long day of work. Exhaustion opens the window for homesickness, and since it’s our last few weeks here, we are all missing our families and pets.
Don't get me wrong, I love my internship. I am working at Hopetoun House, which is considered one of the finest estates in Scotland. The people there are fantastic, but I have had to learn to set aside time for myself, so I can recover and prepare for another day of work. Over this past weekend, self-care was on the agenda. Being an introvert, I get exhausted being around large groups of people for a long period of time, so over the weekend, I spent time either alone or with a small group of people like my flatmates.
Self-care, when I'm by myself, involves a lot of Netflix. And let's face it, UK Netflix is a lot better than US Netflix. It also involves drinking a lot of tea, and an elaborate skincare routine. I journal, listen to music, read, etc. as well. So, one day this past weekend was self-care by myself doing these activities, and then the next day I had a chill day with one of my flatmates.
My flatmate and I ended up taking a walk to New Town to get tea and lunch. Having tea with someone is one of the best ways for me to relax and have a conversation. Then we did a walk along the River of Leith, which is one of Edinburgh's hidden gems. It is one of those places where it does not feel like you're in a city but in the countryside. It's so quiet, and a great place to get shots for Instagram. We ended the day at the Modern Art Museum, which had so many interesting pieces in it. Just having a casual, chill day like that has helped me feel a lot more refreshed and less homesick, which leads to having a better experience.