Tips To Overcome Depression As an International Student

7 Tips To Overcome Depression As an International Student

Being an International Student living in any country is an incredible journey filled with opportunities for personal as well as educational growth. But it do comes with a lot of challenging experiences like feeling overwhelmed, financial stress, loneliness, or the worst case scenario “Depression“.

After moving to Canada, I have gone through the same situation not because of loneliness or feeling overwhelmed but due to financial stress and finding a good” and affordable place to stay.

Things went upside down for three month and I failed in my very first semester. Well, things will never go as per plan but I have never expected it to be that wild.

But fast forward to 2023, I have a beautiful place to live with a view that I always wanted and a sustainable 20 hour job that pays and treats me well. So, Today I will share the tips to overcome depression if you are an International student.

Also Read: How To Save Money As An International Student In Canada?

What Is Depression?

If you are new in the world of mental health, you may heard the “Depression” for the first time. So, let me give a brief introduction and definition about “What is Depression?

According to American Psychiatric Association, “Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable.

The most common symptoms of depression include persistent sadness, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fatigue, changes in appetite or weight, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Tips to Overcome Depression as an International Student:

1. Reach out for Support

The first step to combat depression is to seek support of professional or your family members who can understand the pain you are going through. During my bad days, I have some great friends and my family members who are there to listen what I feel.

Additionally, many universities and colleges (including mine) offer counselling services specifically tailored to the needs of international students. Seeking professional help can equip you with coping strategies and a safe space to explore and process your emotions.

2. Cultivate a Supportive Network

Building a strong support network is vital for your emotional well-being. Engage in social activities and join student organizations or clubs that align with your interests.

Attend cultural events and connect with individuals who share your background or who can offer a new perspective. Participating in community activities not only helps combat loneliness but also fosters a sense of belonging and support.

For example, you can go for a walk with your friend to one of your favourite place and share your feeling and emotions. Or else, many colleges organize events and parties specifically for students that can help you in building a network with people.

3. Practice Self-Care

Self-care plays a significant role in maintaining mental health. Prioritize activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as exercising, meditating, journaling, or engaging in hobbies.

I have huge interest on starting my blog and share what I feel but I used to wonder “Is there any one really cares?” or “Is it worth it?“. Well, it didn’t stopped me from starting “The Canadian Guy” and here I am sharing a part of my life with you amazing people.

Additionally, try to establish a healthy lifestyle that must include a good 7-8 hour sleep, a balanced diet, and regular exercise. Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being will contribute to a more positive mindset and overall resilience.

4. Engage in Mindfulness and Stress Reduction Techniques

Practicing mindfulness and stress reduction techniques can be highly beneficial in managing depression. Take time each day to engage in activities such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga.

These techniques help promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and improve overall mental well-being. Consider exploring mindfulness apps or joining mindfulness workshops offered by your university to enhance your skills in this area.

5. Connect with Professional Support Groups

In addition to individual counselling, consider exploring support groups specifically tailored for international students experiencing depression or mental health challenges. These groups provide a safe and supportive environment where you can connect with others who share similar experiences.

Sharing stories, challenges, and strategies can offer validation, insights, and a sense of community. Reach out to your university’s counselling center or mental health services to inquire about any support groups available for international students.

6. Seek Cultural Support

Many universities provide cultural support services designed to assist international students in adjusting to their new environment. These resources offer guidance, workshops, and events that celebrate and explore diverse cultures. Engaging with these services can help you connect with others who share similar experiences and offer a sense of familiarity and support.

7. Explore Professional Help

If your feelings of depression persist or worsen, seeking professional help from a mental health provider is essential. They can provide you with specialized guidance and support tailored to your specific needs. Therapy or counselling can offer valuable tools to address underlying issues, develop coping strategies, and foster personal growth.

Final Words

Being an international student can be a transformative experience, but it’s important to acknowledge the challenges that come with it. If you find yourself feeling depressed, remember that you are not alone, and there is support available to you.

By seeking support, cultivating a network, practicing self-care, and exploring cultural resources, you can overcome depression and embrace the opportunities that being an international student offers.

I would say – prioritize your mental health and well-being more as compared to any other things – specially if you are living by yourself.

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