Tennis Shoes And Water Bottle

5 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy in College: Mind, Body, and Soul

As much as I love my Flaming Hot Cheetos and bag of sour gummies, my time at home eating healthy with three square meals in the day (ah, the luxury!), weekly workouts, and some good rest really made me reflect on how unhealthy and unsustainable my lifestyle at college last semester really was — not only what I was eating but when I was eating, not only when I was sleeping but how I was sleeping and, oh, exercise? Totally forgot that was even a thing! I guess it’s safe to say that I was all over the place. So, this semester I’ve promised myself to make a few changes to this carefree college life and might I add, it’s been going pretty well! So here are 5 (easy) ways to be healthy at college — for the mind, body, and soul. 

 

  1. 1. Om-my god

    summer girl hawaii yoga hiking exercise view high res version

    Well, if the fact that I wrote an entire article about the role that meditation has played in my life isn’t a testament to how well it works, I don’t know what is! While I’d been introduced to the art of meditation during my sophomore year of high school, I only recently re-acquainted myself with it. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a struggle getting my mind to calm down and focus — it’s so much harder than you’d think! While there have been nights where I have caved in and resorted to my old ways of binging my favorite shows or scrolling through my social media before bed, the next morning, I always recognize the difference not only in my energy levels the next day but also in the quality of my sleep. In fact, even simply 10 minutes of calm before your day gets crazy or 10 minutes of relaxation right before bed will make a world of a difference! 

  2. 2. Sugar? No thank you.

    Spoon Csu-Brown Sugar White Sugar Mixing Bowl

    Please tell me I’m not the only one who literally craves candy, chocolate, and basically any form of excessive sugar after every meal (and I mean every!) While I’ve never been one to control my diet, my love for all things sugar sky-rocketed when I got to college. I don’t know what it is here — maybe it’s the heavily sugar-coated cereals that call my name from the dispensers in the dining halls (I love me some good Cinnamon Toast Crunch!), or the fact I don’t have a routine when I’m at college, but my obsession with sugar has just gone from bad to worse and not only does it interfere with my energy levels throughout the day but also disrupts my (non-existent) sleep cycle. Don’t get me wrong — chocolate-chip pancakes and sour candy will forever have my heart but I can’t let it rob me of my sleep any longer! My excessive sugar intake at very (very) late hours of the night make any trace of sleepiness disappear and I don’t end up sleeping until the early hours of the morning, which for me, just doesn’t seem to be sustainable, so I’ve decided to bid my late-night sweeties goodbye for now! 

  3. 3. Work(out) from home

    The Fitrec is great and all but I don’t know about you guys... for me, just the fact that it’s a 25-minute walk from where I live kills any motivation I have to work out. I mean, there are still weeks where I’ll push myself (when the BU Bus decides to be on time!) to make the trek because I know it’s worth it — but the struggle to get myself to go all the way there is real! So, this semester, while I have been better about going to the Fitrec anyway, on days (or weeks!) that I don’t feel like braving it out in the freezing cold air, I start my day with a short 20-minute functional workout in my dorm room and let me tell you, it energizes me for the rest of my day and honestly, I just feel happier. There are plenty of workout apps that are easy to use and have guided, freely available workouts — all you have to do is download one of them and devote 15 to 20 minutes before you start your day to working your muscles. 

  4. 4. Stay hydrated, kids!

    Two Friends With Water Bottles

    I can’t tell you how hard I relate to all those memes about a true water-drinker that floods the internet! I love water, always have, and even though most of my routine slowly became non-existent when I got to college, the one thing that I’m really proud of is my conscious effort to keep up my water intake because I have found that it really helps my skin and gut to stay clean and clear. My mornings begin with a liter of water (before I drink my much-needed morning coffee) because I find that it has really helped to get my body up and working, so I usually try to drink 2-3 liters a day, especially when the air is dry during the winter months. To ensure that my water intake is consistent throughout the day, I never leave my room without a reusable bottle that I keep refilling through the day and honestly, for those of you who find that you eat even when you’re not really hungry, drinking water throughout the day in between meals actually helps keep you full for a while until your next cup of coffee or snack! 

  5. 5. Do more of what makes you happy!

    Woman with headphones listening to music

    While it is the most basic thing, work, academics and stress often get in the way and we often don’t dedicate enough (or any) time to doing something we’re passionate about (at least I know I didn’t!). Making music has been one of my biggest passions ever since I can remember and even though I am part of an a capella group on campus to keep the passion alive and growing, I’ve always loved playing the piano and singing along or jamming with friends just for fun and I think I lost that habit during my freshman year. This year, however, with a music room only 3 floors below mine, I find myself rediscovering that passion again. In fact, I often go there between classes for a quick breather because it gives me so much mental peace — it’s like a mid-day pick-me-up for my mind! 

     

I hope these easy, college-friendly hacks help you feel happier and healthier — mind, body, and soul!

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