How to stay healthy and happy

How to stay healthy and happy



Have you ever heard of the phrase: You are, what you eat? It used to be the slogan for Swedish Knäckebrot ‘WASA’ for many years and it has taken until now for me to realise that this is more than just a phrase, but an actual lifestyle! A healthy lifestyle indeed!


This phrase came to mind when I was chatting with my flatmates. I was telling them that I can’t focus on my studies while I am here in Aberdeen. My roommate was saying that for her ‘university goes first.’ At the time, I didn’t say anything, but I didn’t particularly agree. I then realised that when you are a student, your studies should be a number one priority. As you read this, does that statement resonate with you? Pause and think. I urge you to think deeper. I am not trying to make this a meditation exercise, but this sentence should make you think.


A few days after this discussion, I suddenly had an epiphany. I could understand why I felt miserable and stressed. I didn’t allow more fun and exercise into my schedule during that week. I didn’t have yoga until Friday, and I relied on take-outs only for food, as all I was thinking about was my assignments. No wonder I was so upset and couldn’t think clearly. I couldn’t even hand in my essay on time!


What happened? Why did Natascha have a little meltdown?


I realised the answer was, I wasn’t looking after my health and my mental state. I really admire people who go the library and stick to their schedule. However, I am not someone who can work straight from eight o’clock in the morning until ten at night, with only little breaks. If I do this, I turn into a zombie, and loose the happy qualities that make me, me!


After that week, I recognised that I have to cook my own meals, do yoga regularly, meet my friends (even if it is for a five minute chat) and listen and dance to music! I personally find dancing, singing and listening to music so liberating!


I then realised: my health goes first. In the end, I now know that you can combine both: your studies and your health.


Still, I believe that your health goes first because if you’re feeling well in your mind and body, then the rest will follow. You will concentrate better, you’re more effective and you are much happier.



I’m now in my third year and it really stresses me out that my marks count towards my final degree. I think that many people right now have these fears. But let me tell you something important: You’re not you exam results! Of course, it looks great on your CV, if you have achieved a First Class degree in your subject, but the type of person you are is just as (if not more) important!


I still cry when I don’t get a good mark, yet you should not define yourself by your grades. As well as an opportunity to learn and specialise, university should also be the time where you experiment, socialize and get to know yourself better.


So here are my top twelve tips for a better health:



  1. Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits. Stay away from fast-food. Remember: Your body is a temple; honour it with great food.
  2. Drink every day a lot of water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty, staying hydrated has its benefits.
  3. Do physical exercise. You should enjoy what you do. Personally, I don’t like running. I love dancing and yoga.
  4. If something bothers you, say it or express it in a healthy, even creative way. There’s a reason why many people are drawn to the arts: poetry, painting, sculpture,  music, theatre,….
  5. Don’t squeeze too much in your schedule. It’s better to do less in a day which keeps your mind calm and focused. Multi-tasking isn’t for everyone.
  6. Turn off social media for a while. After one day, you realize how much time you actually waste on checking other people’s profiles or updates in various groups. The world won’t end, if you’re offline for a while.
  7. Go outdoors, especially here in Aberdeen, the sun shines very rarely. So if it’s sunny, take advantage of it.
  8. Have a deep conversation with your friends.
  9. Smile and smile again. If you laugh, that’s much better because laughing is still the best medicine.
  10. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be a little more playful in your life.
  11.  Get enough sleep. If you’re a night owl like me, try to get at least nine hours of sleep. Otherwise, you have to change your sleeping habits as well. If you have courses at nine, I advise you to go to bed around ten o’clock.
  12. Love your enemies. Even if someone isn’t kind to you, don’t take it personally. Everyone can have a bad day!









You deserve to be healthy and happy!