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How to get myself out of a funk/sad time?

By May 9, 2016 - 1:10pm
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I currently study overseas (in Brazil), and I'm going to be heading back home for one month holiday in July. The last time I was home was from December - March, and I've found it so hard to readjust being back here. I find myself losing patience easily and complaining a lot, and counting down the days until I go home, almost like a prisoner. It doesn't help that I miss my family alot, and I have a boyfriend back home as well that I miss terribly. it's to the point where I think I'm making myself deliberately unhappy because I am not with him, and I hate feeling that way. At the same time I don't want to come across as clingy/needy to him (even though he reassures me various times that he doesn't think so). Also the city that I am in is very dangerous, and I don't feel safe going out most of the time, so I don't have much of a social life (besides hanging out with people in the dorm, playing Uno, etc)

I was held up at gunpoint last weekend here, a group of five men robbed me and my friends, and I didn't lose any of my possessions, but I found myself so traumatized. I cry a lot, and I call my mother various times a day just crying. She tries her best to comfort me, but it doesn't help that I am thousands of miles away from home. It's all I can do to not just pack up everything and go home.

I also found in the last month or so I had a lack of appetite. I already know that every time I get stressed or sad, I don't feel like eating. I've already lost a few pounds, and sometimes I don't eat anything for the whole day except maybe just biscuits or an instant meal. I know it's not healthy, but I can't seem to make myself eat, and if I eat too much, my stomach feels like I will throw up.

I considered going to a psychiatrist but I don't know if that would really help. I think it's that I need to get myself out of this funk, but I'm scared it could possibly turn into depression. I also want to be able to eat properly again. I've signed up at the gym, hoping that it would help feeling better, but sometimes I'm not able to go due to studying or lots of assignments.
How can I make myself feel better again? I'm so tired of being sad.

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Thank you for sharing your question with the EmpowHER community.

Being away from home for extended periods of time can be stressful. Not to mention you have legitimate reasons for not feeling safe.

I understand there are a couple of things that are affecting your ability to be happy.

  • Missing your boyfriend
  • Feeling unsafe
  • Health affected

With regards to missing your boyfriend, this time in your relationship can really strengthen the bond you have.  Long distance relationships are lessons in effective communication, because you have to try hard to comunicate affection and intimacy.  This time of distance in your relationship you want to show your boyfriend you can can be independent in the relationship and not lose yourself in the relationship.  After all, you being you is what made him fall for you in the first place.  You don't want him to feel he has to carry you in the relationship because you're falling apart.  Let him know even though you miss him you are managing well.

As for the safety issue, I'm glad to know you are traveling with others.  What else could you do to increase your safety?

As for your health, once you put small goals into place to relieve your stress and anxiety, like going to the gym and showing your boyfriend you miss him in a independent kind of way, your appetite just might come back to normal.  The key thing is to start small and take it one day at a time.

One of the greatest practices I began years ago was writing down what I was grateful for.  A gratitude journal can be really healing and help you focus on what is right rather than what isn't.

Always remember, you are more powerful and capable than you are giving yourself credit for.  Allow yourself to believe in your ability to turn things around.  Give yourself the permission to be happy no matter what.

I hope this helps.

Be well,


May 9, 2016 - 8:23pm
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