As schoolwork begins to ramp up and we find ourselves spending more and more time on the third floor of Miller, it’s easy to put our physical and mental wellbeing on the back-burner. Papers, readings, and projects tend to occupy so much of our energy that at the end of the day, we just want to curl up in bed and scroll through Instagram or watch Love Island. At least that’s what I want to do. However, this fall I am trying to make a conscious effort to find a balance between schoolwork and my health to maximize my wellbeing, productivity, and happiness this fall. Here are some plausible goals for Fall 2019 to stay happy, healthy, and still manage to do well in school.
Make Exercise Fun: If you’re like me, you don’t enjoy going to the AC just to get a cramp on the treadmill after 10 minutes. I find it very difficult to motivate myself to exercise when this is usually my fate. However, this semester my roommates and I are holding each other accountable to exercise 3 times per week. Rather than all going to the AC individually, we have decided that we’ll run together outside. By making an exercise schedule with friends, it is much easier to stay motivated as someone else is counting on you as well. I have found that I’m more excited to workout with the added social element of doing it in a group.
Sleep, Don’t Scroll: In the past, I’ve had the terrible habit of scrolling through Instagram or VSCO for upwards of thirty minutes before going to bed. Oftentimes, this takes place during the very early hours of the morning when I have a 9am class in my near future. Why do I do this? I’m not sure, as I know the only results are stress and sleep-deprivation. This fall, I’m trying to put my phone down for the night before getting in bed. Instagram does very little for our mental well-being, and staring at a bright screen certainly doesn’t aid falling asleep. I encourage everyone to maximize sleep and minimize screen-time this semester.
Spend Time Outdoors: Here in central Maine, there are many months of the year when being outside for more than 10 minutes is truly unpleasant. Right now, however, it is the perfect weather. This week the forecast is low 70s and very little humidity, could it be any better? No. So, rather than reading your book in a cubicle in Miller, break out a picnic blanket and sprawl on Miller lawn. It’s a much more pleasant, relaxing, and less stressful way to do homework. Also, you may even get a tan.
Eat Enough and Eat Well: As schoolwork and extracurriculars get into full swing, it is sometimes hard to find the time to eat three meals a day. I know this sounds ridiculous, but sometimes we forget to eat or make it a secondary priority. Over the past two years, I have substituted a granola bar for meals so I had more time to write a paper or study for a test. I can assure you that I was not very productive in these situations. Make eating and eating well a priority this semester, as it will reap benefits in every other aspect of your life. I love to snack, and while I always enjoy a good bag of Goldfish, I recommend snacking on fruit, nuts, or veggies instead. They’re easy to store in a mini-fridge and will make you feel so much better throughout the day.
Do some of these little things, and you’ll be thanking yourself come December.