The first weeks of Erasmus aren’t a piece of cake. We know a lot of people who were constantly stressed, confused, or crying in the corner. We were people. There are so many things going on at the same time - new culture, new home, documents, meeting too many people at once. So we want you to know - it is okay to feel weak sometimes, do not be ashamed of your feelings.
However, there are ways to make it better. You just need five minutes a day, and it’s actually a small investment that brings unbelievable results. Can you sacrifice five minutes of the day to give yourself some love?
We’ve prepared some tricks that will help you to reduce the stress and anxiety of the first weeks.
Stop everything that you are doing and breathe in. Breathe out. Concentrate on the process. Feel that you are enriching your body. Every breath brings relaxation. Sometimes we get so excited or overwhelmed that we breathe once instead of twice, our breathing becomes shallow, and we don’t get all the oxygen we need. Consequently, the stress level increases even more. So just stop for a moment and take a deep breath.
2. Light up a candle
Watching a small fire dancing on your table is very soothing. Everything else seems so distant, and coziness starts coursing through your veins. Get an aroma candle with scents like rose, bergamot, orange and get a full relaxation course.
3. Write it down
Don’t write about what causes stress. Start a gratitude journal. Try to write down three things that made you happy every evening. We concentrate on the bad things so hard that we hardly ever notice how actually good the day was. Did a baby smile to you on the subway? Did someone compliment your new shirt? Did you get extremely good coffee today? Write that down and reread when it gets worse.
4. Learn how to say no
You have loads of homework to do, learning agreement to figure out and more than two hours to sleep, but your friends want you to go out? Say no. Erasmus feels like the time when you have to meet new people and party all the time, but honestly, we all need some time alone. If you don’t go out one night, you won’t miss out that much but you can get yourself together and take care of your mental health.
5. Drink tea
Just drink tea. Don’t scroll through your feed, don’t read something for uni, don’t do anything except drinking tea. You’ll actually feel its taste and get some time to reflect on your feelings or notice how the sun rays are dancing on the bookshelves. Just be here and now.
Those are the small things that add up to your wellbeing and quality of life. You can also try sports, walks, doodling or whatever makes you feel better. We genuinely hope that your first weeks will go as smoothly as possible, and remember that you can reach out to us for help whenever you need it.
Stay calm and enjoy your Erasmus in Kyiv!