Homesickness, Stress and Drifting from Friends - Tumble Dried Towels Mixtape

Tumble dried towels. That fluffy, chilled, cosy, relaxed, content feeling of freshly tumble dried towels. That's exactly what this month's work in progress playlist reminds me of. And is exactly the feeling I'm trying to achieve on a regular basis in Canada. I have now been in Toronto for a whole month for study abroad, and I am quite surprised at how much homesickness has hit me.

Study abroad is honestly a rollercoaster of emotions. I've never felt such speed in switching between highs and lows. Luckily my time here has mainly been experienced in excitement, however I'm not ashamed to admit I have had quite a few days where I have cried from stress, homesickness and just generally from feeling fed up. Everyone has those days, but I have had a few more since leaving Scotland.

Homesickness and Drifting from Friends

After living alone for the first time in Barcelona last summer, I assumed I would not feel homesick at all in Canada. But surprise surprise I'm actually still a human being - and this is okay. I do believe this time round has been made worse due to the fact I have fallen out with/drifted from some friends at home since arriving in Toronto. Essentially breaking up with friends upsets me so much but I know I am at an age where I'm learning who I am as an independent individual, and simultaneously learning who I want to be there to grow alongside me. And if that means cutting off negative, apathetic and toxic people I used to consider friends, then that's what I have to do. I know I still have many many people in my life who care about me and support me (and I hope they feel I do the same for them) and I have already met so many interesting and amazing people on my exchange. So although I have 'lost' friends, I guess I've gained emotional space to make even more effort for the people that truly care about me. Definitely a blessing in disguise.

Moving away from your hometown shows you who your real friends are; the ones that do take the time to ask how you're getting on and the ones who put in the effort even if they have to go out of their way to contact you when you're on the other side of the world. Those are the ones that will always be there for you. Show them lots of love.

Homesickness and Stress

When periods of homesickness do hit, my mind floods itself with all the other things in my life that have the potential to upset and stress me out. Stress crying is a hobby of mine. I doubt myself; I wonder if I'm capable of lasting the rest of my time here, I wonder if I should be getting up two hours earlier every day to be more productive, and then I feel bad for feeling so upset when I feel like I should be happy all the time as I'm in such an amazing place on such an incredibly opportunity. Obviously I know I can survive my time here (I've survived almost 20 years so I can survive many more), and I know I don't have to force myself to get up two hours earlier every day because then I'd just be miserable, and I know I shouldn't feel bad for feeling upset, because everyone has the right to feel like shit once in a while, no matter your circumstances. It doesn't mean you are ungrateful or selfish, it means you are a normal human being who has the strength to be vulnerable and the strength to accept that you need to rest. Rest is so so important, especially on study abroad or new situations when you are super busy trying to understand a whole other culture which can be pretty draining.

Free Pep Talk (for you and I)

We all need to be kinder to ourselves. We all need to rest and appreciate the value of rest. There is no rush - you have plenty of time. Slow down. Stop overthinking everything and just do it. Surprise yourself with what you're capable of. And make sure you do what you enjoy. If you ever doubt yourself or criticise yourself, imagine you're speaking to a friend or a small child. I'm sure you wouldn't tell a friend they were a failure or a small child that they were too fat. Apply this to yourself whenever a negative thought creeps into your head. And if you can't think of any positives, ask a friend and trust and believe them. And slowly you'll learn to love and appreciate yourself a little more. Appreciate the highs and the lows. Appreciate the fake friends for showing you what you value in friendship, and then appreciate the friends that do support you through anything. Appreciate the little things during your days as well as the big things. Write a list of everything good that has happened to you recently - it's more than your mind first imagines. Journal morning and night if you can (I'll have a post on how I journal soon). Just write everything down and let your mind wander. Remember that the down days are only temporary. Reach out to friends and family to talk when you need to. And Skype your family more often. They love you unconditionally. And don't be afraid to give yourself a pep talk like this once in a while. It's something we all need.

"Just stop looking for love, girl you know you still got time"

"I got time and right now I ain't worried bout nothing"

"Girl you should know that I can love you better than he can"

"It's a vibe" (it's that tumble dried towels vibe amirite)

Hopefully you're feeling even a little more zen right now. Or a little more prepared to face the down days and a little more hopeful and optimistic. If anything I've helped myself writing this post, so hopefully I've helped at least one other person too. Now I'd recommend you to listen to my Tumble Dried Towels playlist, for the ultimate "chilled out zen life is okay I can cry if I want to but life is good and I am strong and I am happy even when I am down" feels. If you have any recommendations for me to add, let me know.

Speak soon friends and keep smiling, but also cry (see post above)

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