This is a guest post from Rong (Angela) Ge, a current student at the Language Training Center, she is currently completing her practicum with the Campus Well-Being Unit at RRC Polytech. Angela graduated from Nanjing University with major in Psychology. She worked in an education service centre for the past three years and has helped hundreds of international students settle down in Winnipeg. For now, Angela is moving forward to study in the Health Care field and is focusing on the individual mental wellness in the community.
How Do we improve our mental wellness as International Student?
Studying abroad is a challenge for each and every international student. If you are an international student, do you have a moment like this? Not feeling well but can not tell your parents thousands of miles away, or feeling so lonely and overwhelmed at night?
The main cause of mental health barriers among the international students is that they are taking too much pressure. Therefore, it requires special attention on their mental wellness.
Generally, most of the parents have high expectations. They hope their children can adapt quickly to a non-native language environment and achieve excellent scores. In fact, the students need more time to get used to the new environment, since they just arrived in a different country, meeting different people, having a different life style. However, when the international students are unable to achieve the desired goals, they are considered not working hard enough.
Most international students, therefore, depend on their family savings to fund the tuition and living expenses. Compared with the local students, their tuition fees are much higher, and they need to live on a budget to keep life balanced.
Emotional and social stress
This barrier is particularly acute among international students. Initially, their parents who used to take care of them are far away, and the old friends who used to listen to them are not around. Lacking friends and social activities make international students feel even more lonely.
What can we do?
In this special period, all of us are gripping for a way out, but we should pay more attention to the international students, especially their psychological construction. Every international student is brave and excellent. It is worth praising that they can go abroad to live and study alone. However, since there are some misapprehensive voices in the society, many international students are afraid to seek help when they encounter psychological issues, for fear of being looked down upon.
Hopefully, every international student can be safe and healthy.
Here are some tips for improving mental wellness.
Good Habits are essential to our health. They can make the chances of achieving and maintaining our lifestyle goals such as exercising regularly and managing learning time, along with increasing quality of life.
Take a break when we are facing with a tough situation. Take the time to think things through, make a plan, wait patiently before acting.
Sleep is an essential function that allows our body and mind to recharge. Healthy sleep helps us reduce stress and improve our mood, think more clearly and do better in school, and get along better with people.
- Go outside and in the sun
Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping us feel calm and focused.
Abraham Maslow once said, “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” Only in the present can help us achieve true happiness, peace, and joy.
- Seek help in the community
By the time reading this blog, there is no doubt that you are a member of this community. To support students and staff to stay well in spirit and mind, RRC Polytech is committed to providing excellent counselling service and support.
Click here to learn more about counselling here
Keep in mind, you are not alone. Growing and learning are important, but you need to allow yourself to pause, take a break, and then move forward.
作者简介：葛蓉(Angela Ge)，现就读于红河理工学院语言中心，毕业于南京大学社会心理学专业。 在过去的三年，Angela曾就职于一家教育服务中心，协助和陪伴数百位国际留学生在温尼伯展开留学生活。如今，Angela计划学习医疗领域的相关课程，并且持续关注社区中个人心理健康问题。