Sometime studying abroad can feel like you are in your own world with all those new experiences thrown at you. But not going to the gym for two weeks, or not maintaining your daily routines and rituals as you would at home, will quickly bring you back to reality. I had the unfortunate experience of knowing how this feels, but the pendulum has swung the other way now, and I am have luckily gotten back on track. I wouldn't be surprised if there is another post similar to this about how to keep your routines in check while traveling, but I would like to share my own philosophies on this topic nonetheless.
Rule #1: Do what you would do with (most) of your daily routine as you would at home. If you are a runner, don’t be afraid to run in your city, just be careful when you do since the streets here can be a little messy, especially when, you know, they drive on the other side of the road. I didn’t get around to putting my running shoes on and touring the city until my second week here, and I wish I had done it sooner because it gives you an entirely fresh perspective on the layout of your city, and what the different neighborhood are like. The only reason I say “most” of your daily routines is just to be aware to not do anything “culturally unacceptable” as you might back home.
Rule #2: Sleep. I don’t need to elaborate on this too much, since it’s relatively similar to how you would do it at home, but I see a lot of students here who still try to operate on 5 hours a night. Traveling can take a lot out of you—get those ~8 hours.
Rule #3: Eat out. I find myself trying to save too much of my own money by not eating, when in reality it is most definitely worth the time to treat yourself right and take friends with you to eat at a new restaurant. This is your new home, and you should be trying out new restaurants the same way you would as if you were living here for the next few years.
Rule #4: This is more of a personal routine, but put your camera down occasionally. I promise that you will remember the sights you see for the rest of your life if they are truly worth remembering. Sometimes a phone camera in front of your face can take away from the true value of what you’re seeing.
These tips might sound a bit abrasive, but they have done me so much good for me here thus far. Joining the gym has begun to take the place of running for me as it begins to get colder out, but maintaining mental and physical health is just as important abroad as it is at home. Take care of yourself.