9 Healthy Habits for College Students

 

Being in college means having to balance way too many things in way too little time. Whether it is school related responsibilities, family duties or a keeping a romantic relationship, you start to feel like life is becoming almost impossible. Chances are that your health has taken a back seat to the rest of your responsibilities. However, good health is a necessity in order to succeed without getting burnt out or overwhelmed. 

Now, I’m not saying that you have to spend two hours running on the treadmill while eating broccoli and meditating, all at once, for at least two hours every day - because that is extreme and unnecessary - unless it’s what you want to do, in which case, you go girl! 

What I mean by good health is taking on some simple and easy habits that will take very little time away from your day, but give you a great amount of time and energy back; that will help you improve your mental, physical, and emotional health.

 

1. Exercise: 

I’m not telling you to run a mile a day, to over exhaust yourself, or to be there for hours at a time. All a person needs is 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day in order to feel better and healthier.  This is not for you to look better, this is not what exercise is about. This is to help you de-stress, to help you feel more energized and to keep your body moving. 

2. Breathe:

College can be extremely overwhelming, but if you take 10 minutes a day to breathe, meditate if that’s your thing, or list 10 things you are grateful for, you will feel much more motivated to strive to achieve your dreams, and much more grateful for the opportunity to do the things that stress you out (weird to think about, but being stressed about college is a privilege!) 

3. Sleep:

While students are known for pulling all-nighters, being addicted to caffeine and being sleep deprived, this is easily the worst thing you can possibly do. Your body and mind need sleep in order to recuperate from the exhaustion of a busy schedule and high amounts of stress that you are probably putting them through. Sleep also allows your brain to process all the information that you need to remember in order to pass your tests and quizzes. 

4.Break it Down:

Not talking about dancing here, but it is also encouraged! What I mean by this is that sometimes the pile of responsibilities and tasks gets bigger and bigger until you come face to face with an unmanageable mountain of work and stress. The best possible steps you can take when this happens is to breathe, and break the tasks down into more simple and reachable goals, this will make it easy for that one big insurmountable Everest, to appear more like various small hills.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask:

Whether it is for clarification, for help, or for anything else, you should never be afraid to read out and ask. By asking questions, life becomes less about the what ifs and more about concrete facts. If you don’t know something, it is better to ask that to let the anxiety eat away at you while you waste time thinking about how to figure it out yourself. If you need help, reach out and request some help - professional or otherwise. A major aspect of health, especially for students in college, is mental and emotional health. If this is something you need help with, reach out to friends for comfort and to make you feel better; but if the problem requires a bit more seriousness, that’s okay too! Its 2019, therapy and working on your mental health is cool now!

6. Schedule in “me time”: 

Even if you physically have to block off a part of your agenda to make sure you are making this a priority, do it! Me time is meant to be time for you to take a break from everything, to put all of your responsibilities into a box and lock them away for a brief portion of your day. Treat yourself, watch your favorite show, drink a glass of wine, and have an at-home spa night, just take time to relax and enjoy some stress-free time. 

7. Cook from time to time: 

It will be easier on your health and on your wallet to lay off the eating out for a bit. Most students spend the most money on food and coffee than they do on everything else, and in the end we are paying - usually - for food on campus, which may not always be the cheapest. Meal prepping or cooking a meal can be very time consuming, but it will allow you to eat better foods of which you know the contents, and it will save you more money than you think!

8.Waste time productively: 

Okay, this one definitely sounds weird and confusing, but just hear me out. As busy and stressed as you may be, I bet that you are like me and always somehow find yourself on social media, mindlessly scrolling through your feed without even realising you are doing it. It’s perfectly okay to take breaks, especially if you study pomodoro style (which I highly recommend), but there is a way to make those breaks mean something other than a waste of time with meaningless scrolling on social media.

You can, for example, listen to some of the podcasts I have recommended on my latest article, or you can use those 10 - 15 minutes on doing a speed clean, which can help you clear out your environment and help you feel more ready to get back on the horse.  Which brings me to my last point:

9.Clear your space:

 This can be applied both physically and mentally. If you are anything like me, you find it absolutely impossible to work in mess or clutter - although, somehow, my best studying is done at Starbucks. By cleaning out your physical space, your are allowing your environment to become more apt for helping you in your endeavors. A clear space is equal to a clear mind which is essential in order to stay healthy while tackling the mountain of duties you must get through, or rather, the small hills.