So the truth comes out – the real reason behind my lack of posting during the last month of my trip. It wasn’t that I didn’t have free time or that I had nothing of interest to say. It’s mostly that sometimes life feels a little overbearing and we want to just sink into some alternate reality, forgetting about our own problems. Of course, we know that this just leads to a cycle of depression, because you’re never taking control of your life, or doing something that makes you feel better. But hey, it happens.
Personally, I was beginning to miss home. Not because London wasn’t awesome! More because I’m very introverted and having your own room does not always mean you feel like you’re getting away from everyone. My flatmates were great, I just can’t be around anyone that much! Not to mention I couldn’t help but panic about my future. I was going home to no home and no job. Even as I write this, I’ve yet to unpack my suitcases into my old childhood room and nobody is offering me a salary, health insurance, or any way to support myself. London was basically beginning to feel like I was on vacation, “waiting for my life to begin.”
No matter the reason, if you’re starting to feel a little homesick or otherwise anxious about your trip, here are some coping mechanisms!
1. Don’t think more relaxation will be the answer.
It’s not! Sleep, always good. “Relaxation?” Excuse the harshness, but you’re just letting yourself become lazy, and you’re missing out on fun times! Go explore a new part of the city. Get involved in a club. Just treat yourself to a milkshake. Get out of the flat and do something worthwhile. (And document it, always be documenting the fun times of your trip!)
2. Go out an do something you couldn’t do at home!
I really don’t like drinking. I don’t judge other people for drinking, but when it comes down to it I don’t want to spend my money on alcohol and I want to be asleep long before you’ve even thought about heading home. What I’m getting at, is that a lot of my flatmates went out every night, and it’s easy to feel distant from them when you’re not participating. Instead, go out and do things you’d like! See the sights, try a small bakery you read an article about, etc. Towards the end of my time in London I went and saw a pantomime, which I would told (by someone at my internship) was a must. Explore on your own, or find a pal who is willing to go with you. :)
If you can, buy a gym membership early and try to make a habit of going! It was easier for me to force myself to go there, even if I was tired, because the shower there was GLORIOUS compared to those in our flat. If I wanted to shower, I had to go to the gym. If you can’t get a membership… don’t pretend like you don’t have a Pinterest board full of exercises you can do at home. We had a couple girls who would do push ups and other exercises in our hallway!
4. Reinvest in a hobby.
Being in a new place doesn’t mean developing all new routines. If you liked to paint at home, treat yourself to a PoundLand sketchbook and some cheap watercolors. You deserve it! ;)
5. Make that commute productive!
At first, I loved riding the tube! Such great signage, I could get anywhere I needed, yada yada yada. After I started my internship, the tube was less about exploring new places and more about an hour long trip to the same place. While at first I was happy I didn’t have to make small talk with strangers (no talking on the tube) eventually I started to feel a little lonely. If you’ve got a long commute, liven it up by bringing a book (with a happy story!?) or purchasing that Spotify premium account so you can use offline playlists (it was worth it).