Trying to balance busy student life with health and wellness can be difficult for those pursuing a post-secondary education.
However, there are several ways you can maintain a healthy lifestyle while living on campus. Taking the time to map out your plan for well-being is not only important for your health – it can actually make you a better and more productive student. Here are some tips you can use to stay healthy once you go back to school!
Develop a fitness routine
While you aren’t expected to train extensively, it is a good idea to come up with some kind of fitness routine to help keep your body and mind active. Splitting up your study time so you can incorporate physical activity will improve your productivity and quality of work, as well as keep you healthy and fit.
As long as you’re moving, any type of exercise is good. Be sure to research your school’s facilities and fitness options to see what’s available to you. Try joining your campus gym, playing on an intramural team with friends, or going for a jog around campus. Test out multiple activities and find what you like! If you can incorporate a fitness routine into your usual schedule 3-5 times per week, it will help you maintain focus when studying, keep you feeling fresh and awake during the day, and help you sleep better at night.
Come up with a healthy eating regime
When you’re working on a group assignment until midnight or pulling an all-nighter to finish an essay, it can be tempting to order a pizza to satisfy your evening hunger. However, managing a nutritious diet is a big part of balancing a healthy lifestyle once you’re back at school.
If you’re on a meal plan, you may need to spend some time researching the healthy options you have available to you at the cafeteria. Choosing fresh fruit, vegetables, items from the salad bar, and high protein items such as chicken, eggs, or hummus make for nutritious meals that will give you energy. Try avoiding the burgers and pizza when possible, and reach for a sandwich with grilled vegetables instead. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask someone behind the counter – they may be able to make it for you!
If you’re cooking for yourself, you can plan healthy meals using three easy steps. First, list out 3-5 possible meal and snack options for each day so you can mix up your choices during the week and add variety to your diet. Then, keep your fridge fully stocked with fruits, vegetables, and all other supplies you need to make sure you can stick with your plan. Lastly, preparing your meals the night before is a must for maintaining a healthy eating regime, as it will help you save time and alleviate stress from your morning routine.
Get a good night’s sleep
We all know we should be getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night – but as a student, that’s not always possible. What’s most important is the quality of your sleep. Instead of using sleeping pills or other supplements to make you tired, there are many natural ways you can prepare yourself for a better sleep.
As tempting as it is to check your email or scroll through Instagram before going to bed, turn off all your light-emitting devices at least one hour before you go to sleep. This will help you reach a deeper level of sleep, so you can wake up feeling well-rested. If you’re up late studying, drinking non-caffeinated bedtime teas are another natural and effective way to help you wind down. Try drinking a cup of herbal tea like chamomile about 30 minutes before going to bed to help you unwind from the day, and achieve a good night’s sleep.
Another challenge students face is inconsistent sleeping patterns, often due to different class times each day. To combat this, try sleeping and waking up at the same time everyday, regardless of when your classes are. Being consistent with your sleep schedule allows your body to set a rhythm that makes you tired at a certain time of night and awake at a certain time in the morning, helping you to easily fall into a deep sleep at the end of the day and wake up feeling refreshed.