The 15 Secrets to Being Healthier at School

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University and college can be an unforgettable chapter of self-growth and exploration of career and personal curiosities – if you plan it right.

More often than not, it can turn out to be four years spent eating out, struggling to balance class and work, and studying ‘til the sun comes up. Doing this can lead to a seriously unhealthy diet, constant fatigue, and a crazy amount of stress.

So to avoid all of that, here are 15 remarkable tips that will help you turn your four years into a time of happiness and good health. .

Power Nap

To recuperate from the emotional strain built up from the demanding nature of school, slow down and take short power naps during the day. Twenty to thirty minutes of shuteye can restore your mental alertness and improve your mood and performance sans grogginess.

Don’t Bring Your Phone to Bed

Scrolling through your newsfeed will start out as innocent pillow talk and later become a one night stand of brightly-lit distractions. The eight hours of sleep you scheduled is now a short and unsatisfying REM cycle. Don’t sacrifice your waking productivity and overall health just to finish another level of Candy Crush. Once in bed-leave your phone alone and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready for tomorrow.

Colour-it-Out

The influx of adult colouring books flying off the shelves isn’t just to colour pretty mandalas, but use them as a therapeutic outlet. Shifting your focus onto the simple strokes, colours, and shapes of intricate designs will encourage you to achieve calmness and mindfulness in the chaos of your school schedule.

Practice Self-Care

Under all those textbooks, sleepless nights, and coffee stains is a person who needs you to put their priorities first. Yup-it’s you. Always do what is best for you, don’t push yourself past your limits and stick to the things that build you up and bring you joy. Take time off every week to relax on your own in a hot bath, a cool walk or even some transcendental meditation exercises– anything that floats your boat of consciousness.

Invest in an Agenda

Planning is key to a successful stress free school year. Invest in an agenda to manage your weekly schedule so you’ll avoid overbooking yourself, and you’ll be able to add regular study breaks for friends, exercise, and me-time.

Play with Puppies

Yes-you read it right! Look for a therapy dog program at your university. You’re likely to find a room of adorable critters at least once during exam season. Trust me-no matter how bad your day was, hanging out with a group of friendly, fluffy canines will make it significantly better.

Eat Breakfast

Studies have repeatedly shown that those who skip breakfast have poorer concentration and are generally more tired. Eating within an hour of waking up electrifies your metabolism and provides the power you need to get through a busy morning. Zap an egg in the microwave for protein and toss some fruits and yogurt in a blender for a quick carb rush in the morning.

Cook For Yourself + Meal Prep

Don’t lose yourself under the weight of convenient and greasy cafeteria food. Shop for groceries instead. You’ll save some serious bucks and calories on your daily food intake just by spending a little extra time in the kitchen.

Don’t know where to start? Google it! Pinterest has an amazing collection of college student grocery lists, and blogs like Budget Bytes are dedicated to giving you great recipes that taste great and cost little. There are so many resources out there to help you navigate the hurdle of cooking on a tight budget—start searching!

Keep Hydrated

Keep a reusable bottle of water with you during the day, and refill it up at the tap. H20 not your cup of tea? Infuse it with slices of fruit or add a liquid enhancer like Mio to make you more than happy to chug your recommended eight glasses a day.

Find a Gym Buddy

The hardest part about exercise is finding the motivation to start. Having a gym buddy gets you pumped, forces you to keep up the pace (that’s our competitive nature), and make it a regular routine. Use your tuition-paid gym, and take advantage of the multitude of intramural sports your university offers.

Make An Appointment with a Therapist

Help will always be there for those who speak up, so don’t ever think you are a nuisance and that your feelings are irrelevant. Recognize the signs of depression, and get a little push in the right direction from your university’s confidential personal counselling service which is open to all students experiencing any issues, stress, and need support.

Adjust To Homesickness

In school, you’re balancing the struggle of a new academic workload while absorbing the vast introductions of new people, unfamiliar surroundings, and different ways of living. Recognize that these changes are just a part of growing up and that you can still, now and then, experience the comfort of home. Plan skype dates with family, FaceTime with your high school friends and keep everyone in the loop of arguably the best and most versatile four years of your life.

Get Involved

Join campus clubs that allow you to delve deeper into your passions and develop new interests. Keep yourself stimulated with exciting events, fundraisers, and other positive initiatives put on by your club, and meet encouraging mentors in the process. Feel good about using your extra hours volunteering for a good cause and expand your university experience outside the classroom.

Build New Friendships

Between classes, extracurriculars, and living in residence, chances are you’ll end up with a handful of solid friendships. Take every invite as an opportunity to meet new people: Say yes to that karaoke pub night, try a new sport for free, and definitely attend your Frosh Week activities. You may be surprised with how many people are just like you-and end up being at your wedding ten years later!

College can be a difficult time for many of us—but don’t let the challenge get you down. Look at it in the eye and use these 15 life hacks to become healthier every year.

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