1. Explore Your City
When I feel homesick I often stay inside of my apartment and watch Netflix all day. It took me a couple of days to realize that in a way, doing this made me feel even more sad! I would force myself to leave and explore the city. I would walk down streets that I had not seen before to try to find new shops and restaurants. Accidently finding new stores to be obsessed with make them even better! Intentionally getting lost has also made it easier for me to navigate through the city without using Google maps, which I think is a great accomplishment.
Train and plane tickets are very cheap both within your country and to others. I have realized that Italy has a lot of small towns that are very charming and unique in their own ways. If you find that you have a free weekend, why not seize the opportunity to take train rides and fall in love with another part of the country you’re in?
Exercise is one of the best ways to distract yourself from internal chaos. I enjoy doing yoga and stretching by myself in the evening to relax my mind. Not only will you feel good physically, but you will mentally as well.
4. Try a New Restaurant/Food
Eating at new places is a great way to expose yourself to new food! When submerging yourself in a new culture, it is important to try as much of the local food as possible. Some of the best places to eat are family businesses or just a hole in the wall. Don’t be afraid to eat at places that only have locals and even try to order in their language.
5. Go Shopping
Shopping is the ultimate remedy for any type of sadness. Searching for a new outfit is fun and an easy distraction. Not only will you have new clothes, but it is also a permanent keepsake of the time you spent abroad. You can even search for gifts for your loved ones that are back home. This will allow you to think about them but mostly in a positive way because you are looking for something that you think they will enjoy.
6. Have a Self Care Day
Dedicating one day out of a week (at least twice a month) to focus on oneself is extremely important. It allows you to evaluate your mental state which is an important habit to maintain, even once you return home. I generally try to dedicate Sunday to myself because it is before the start of the new week. During this day I do whatever it is that I want; watch Netflix, read, a face mask, sit in the park, shop, paint my nails, etc. Self care days do not have to be done alone but the focus of such a day should be you and only you.
Detranelle was a fall 2017 SAI Florence student.