Mental Health Awareness Month

May is known as the Mental Health Awareness Month.
However, this topic is not a popular one that comes to mind when we think about Erasmus, right? Travels, cultural exchanges, making friends from all over the globe, parties... Erasmus is all of that and much more. But we know how things have changed in the past year and we have noticed - more than ever - how important it is to keep sane and calm. Let's take a look at simple and enjoyable things you can do on a daily basis, which can have a huge impact on your well-being!
Spend some time with yourself
You're waiting for so long to go to that museum that has been on the list for centuries, but you don't have company? Are your friends busy? No worries! Don't forget how important it is to take time for you, to know how to be alone and to count on yourself! Either is going to the museum or taking some time to read a book, "use and abuse" your own company! You'll be surprised by the things we can discover about ourselves.
Don't forget your people back home
This is a period where you suddenly meet a lot of people, but it's also very important to keep contact with your family and friends back home! It's easy to forget that you were the one who went out and discovered, but you can never forget those who stayed back home, supporting you by watching you fly. Houseparty, Among Us, Gartic Phone are just a few examples of funny ways to kill homesickness with your loved ones!
One tip: to record as much as you can. By putting your thoughts on paper, you also clarify them and it's a great way to calm your mind - you will thank your future self, believe me. Besides when you want to remember your past moments, there is nothing better than reading your own notes, with those smaller details which you no longer remembered.
Go to the woods
It is always good for the body and mind to be outdoors, connecting to the environment and escaping a little from the routine. Several studies have already shown that exposure to nature can bring enormous benefits to people, especially those who live in urban areas!
Look for an extra help
Almost all universities have a psychology office that students can turn  to. The idea that it is still a taboo to go to the psychologist is so old fashioned. If you feel that you need extra help to deal with your own mind, nothing better than consult someone who is trained to do so. Simple as that! Go for it, you'll see you won't regret it, mark my words.
Put these tips into practice and you will see how each of these small actions will have an impact on your mental health, so you can enjoy your Erasmus time as better as possible!
Maria Madeira
ESN Lisboa