Dealing with absence and anxiety: A guide for parents whose kids are studying abroad

Global Citizen By Sharad Somani January 20, 2021
Social distancing, quarantining, health scares, and a non-existent social life have made 2020 extremely tough. With education institutions reopening abroad, it is even more challenging for parents who must see their kids leave the nest. If you are one of them, know that stress, loneliness, fear, and anxiety can adversely affect you. Hence, it would help if you took charge of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Here are a few things you can do to cope in these trying times.
  1. Get back to reading – Pick up childhood favourites or read classics you never had the time for earlier. Reading helps you escape from the stress of daily life. It lets you go on adventures, solve mysteries, fall in love, and travel to places unknown, all from the comfort of your home.
  2. Practice yoga – Yoga is a great way to feel centred. It helps you relax and improves your mental and physical health. According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, studies suggest that yoga can effectively reduce stress and help with anxiety and depression.
  3. Take up an online course – Learning should never stop. Use the time you have on hand to acquire a new skill. You can learn how to be technologically proficient, take a music class, do Zumba, and more.
  4. Speak to friends often – Everyone across the globe is stressed this year. Pick up the phone and talk to your friends. Share your anxieties with a close friend; check on how they are doing during COVID-19. This companionship will give you a sense of belonging and help you stay positive.
  5. Video chat with your child – Video chat with your child as often as possible. Fix a time that works for both of you, keeping in mind the time difference. Talking to them about their day, seeing them adjust to their new lifestyles comfortably, will elevate your mood.
  6. Transfer money safely to your child – You can ensure your child’s well-being, virtually they are, by taking care of their financial needs. Use a trusted money transfer service such as Western Union to send money to your child and get the peace of mind you deserve.
  7. Watch your favourite shows – This is your ‘me-time’. Catch up on your favourite TV shows and movies. Whether it is the feel-good factor from light and funny shows or the thrill of watching James Bond in action, get a bowl of popcorn, sit back, and relax.
  8. Take up gardening – Grow your own veggies or create the perfect rose shrub. Gardening is known to be a mood booster and is effective in combating loneliness. It will also help you get some fresh air every single day.
  9. Start a blog – Start keeping a blog. It could be on cooking, photography, creative writing, or anything else you are passionate about. It will help you build your community of followers, and if the blog takes off, it can earn you some passive income as well.
  10. Reach out to others in the same boat – Talk to other parents who have kids abroad. They will be able to understand what you are going through. You can all share your learnings and experiences with each other.