Wellbeing in France

Posted on: 3 May 2022 by Isla Lumsdon in 2022 posts

Isla Lumsdon

I generally view myself as a positive, happy person however, like everyone else, sometimes I struggle to keep my well-being uplifted.

This has certainly been a challenge for me this year while I’ve been living in France because there have been many occasions where I have found difficulties and found myself frustrated. For example, when I don’t understand someone in a shop and I beat myself up mentally for not being good at French, or when I miss my friends and family back in the UK. Especially when I first moved here, I felt down frequently as I am an introverted person so pushing myself to go out the apartment and make friends, in a different language, nonetheless, became very mentally exhausting!

The techniques and places I would use to maintain a positive well-being back in England had to adapt now that I was in France and the resources are not necessarily all the same.

A very easy way to uplift your mood definitely is a walk; extra points if the weather is nice too. I find that a walk through the park on my own can really make a huge difference. You can use this time to reflect and take in the surroundings, or call your family and friends back home to recentre yourself with your core people and support system. When I was still in Liverpool, I used to love taking a stroll down by the Docks, and I found a good equivalent in France with all the ‘Jardins’ that are scattered all over the cities.

Another effective way that I uplift my mental state with is a run or a jog. I put my earphones in and blast some upbeat music that’s in the major key and I just go for it. I find that a little run can release your hidden frustrations and any emotions that are stuck behind a mental wall in your mind. This method is also really enjoyable if the route is scenic, or if you can drag along a friend!

If running isn’t your thing, and I wouldn’t blame you for that, any sort of movement would do. Anything to raise your heart rate and allow you to channel your negative energy in a healthy way. This could mean going to the gym, going for a good walk or having a dance in your bedroom to your favourite music!

Now the most obvious way to improve your wellbeing when it’s low in France… food. I disagree that food can solely solve your issues and is a healthy way to deal with whatever problems are on your mind however, it certainly helps when in conjunction with other things. And when you’re in France and all that beautiful, tempting gastronomy is just outside your front door, why not? When I feel down and need a perk, I get myself looking forward to a treat (this is a 2-in-1 as well if you walk to buy it…), such as a pastry, bubble tea or baguette with cheese.

If it’s a sweet treat that would cheer me up, I sometimes will message my friends to go for a coffee and cake! This is a great way to have a laugh and also talk through whatever is making me feel down. This is definitely my favourite technique in France because my friends and I would never say no to going for cake or croissants…