If you are reading this you are probably thinking of studying abroad. Only helpful things can come from taking this great decision. And even more helpful and positive if you decide to study in Malta. This small island in the Mediterranean Sea has the perfect conditions for welcoming students and people to live here. Malta is a good choice to study in Europe if you like sunny weather, meeting international people, and not breaking your wallet as it is one of the most affordable countries in Europe.
But today we are talking about stress, this uncomfortable feeling that we all have experienced and most of the students experience at some point in their lives. Having the pressure to get the marks you need to pass the exams, having to do assignments in a tight schedule and all the time that studying takes can be hard to balance with your other daily commitments like work or social life.
And if you add to that equation that you are studying abroad, far away from home, in a new country, with new people around you and different situations that you have to face and adapt yourself to, it can make this stress even worse.
And, the truth is that being a bit stressed is good, is something normal and in some cases, a helpful part of everyday life. It helps us to move and do things. In fact, there are two types of stress: eustress and distress.
The adrenaline that comes from eustress is what gives us the energy and drives us to make a change and perform better. It produces positive feelings of excitement, fulfilment, satisfaction, and well-being. Eustress is good because you feel confident and stimulated by the challenge you experience from the stressor.
On the other hand, distress occurs when stress is severe, prolonged, or both. It creates tension and resistance and you feel incapable of handling the situations you face. And in the absence of the stressor, you are unable to return to a calm state.
While eustress provides us with an opportunity for creativity and growth, distress reduces productivity and creativity and can be a huge limitation in your day to day life, stopping you from achieving things, relaxing or communicating.
But there are many ways to cope with bad stress and these ways may differ for everyone. If you feel like this bad stress is kicking you, try out these coping strategies and see what fits you the best.
1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
We know sometimes it's difficult to prioritise sleeping among other tasks. When you are a student living abroad you have to manage your time like a magician so you can work, study and have some free time all at once.
And sometimes it’s easier to cut time from sleeping but by doing this we are making ourselves less productive during the day. If we can manage to sleep between 7 or 8 hours and make those hours a really quality sleeping time, we would be able to face every day stress much better than if we are sleep deprived, which makes us irritable and reactive.
Try to have a sleeping schedule of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Avoiding screen time as much as possible and doing something relaxing before sleeping will help your body to prepare for the night and it will make it easy for you to go to sleep.