Being healthy in college is the most difficult thing ever. It takes time, money, and energy to be able to keep up with a decent diet along with getting in your daily dose of exercise. I personally have experience in failing and being successful in each of these areas. Maybe some of these tips and tricks could be helpful!
Getting out of bed earlier than you want can be so exhausting. You went to bed late anyways due to finals and studying and you have an 8am. The last thing you want to do is get up and go workout. Totally understandable. The best time I find to workout is in the evenings, and not every day! As a student, you finish most of your classes by 5pm. One of the best ways to get in some energy that’s more than the hustle and bustle to your next class can be going for an evening walk. That’s right, you don’t need to run or go to the gym. Go for a nice evening walk.
That can be hard to think of as something nice when you spent your day outside and on your feet for hours, but going from class to class during the day can be stressful. Instead of enjoying your time outside, you’re tense, carrying a heavy backpack, sweating, and worried about what you forgot to do for the class ahead.
Exercise isn’t just about looking good. It’s about feeling good.
Feel Good Exercise
In the evenings, I put aside all the things on my list, strap on some shoes, and take a walk. Getting in any sort of exercise when your mind is more in focus can really help keep your entire system in check. Healthline.com states that good exercise can cause “increase brain sensitivity for the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression”. This means that not only are you doing what’s good for your body, but also your mind and soul.
When I return from a good walk, I enjoy taking a shower with aromatherapy soap. I’ve mentioned aromatherapy in my previous posts before because of how relaxing it truly makes my system. Webmd.com even says that “the oils may activate certain areas of your brain… which plays a role in your emotions. They could also have an impact on your hypothalamus, which may respond to the oil by creating feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin.” Although the walk was calming and peaceful, my heart rate was escalated and its now time to wind down my body. Aromatherapy soap is perfect for releasing tension in the body and restoring the connection with your mind and soul. Once I’m finished, I’m left with this boost of energy and feelings of success. This makes me even more prepared for the homework ahead.
Healthy Eating… Nooo
Pause. Before you make all the assumptions in your mind about what I’m about to say let me stop you. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t eat carbs! That’s right. Eggs, bacon, steak, chicken, turkey, fish, cheese, etc., are all such wonderful proteins that are GOOD for your body (within moderation of course). One of the things I found that keeps me in shape but also keeps me energized is eating within moderation. Instead of restricting myself from all kinds of foods and buying overly expensive juices and shakes, I realized that all I really need to do is eat smart.
Instead of grabbing fast food at Panda Express in the MU, I make sure that when I wake up I’m eating a hearty breakfast, eating a hearty lunch, packing a good snack, and cooking a good dinner. You want to create an eating plan that can allow you to make your meals at home and help with portion sizes. This is backed up through Nih.gov, where they say “a healthy eating plan gives your body the nutrients it needs every day while staying within your daily calorie goal for weight loss. A healthy eating plan also will lower your risk for heart disease and other health conditions”.
Making food on your own will help cut down on the greasy, fatty foods you end up eating and BUYING when you feel you have no time. You save so much more money too! Know that familiar feeling of wanting to take a nap after you eat? Trying meals such as cooked steak with a side of broccoli or cauliflower is so much healthier for your body than fried rice and orange chicken take out and will give you that boost of energy that you really need.
That’s all I have to say about that.
Self-Care + Self-Love
The most important step of being a healthy version of you starts with loving and CARING for yourself. Netflix has a great series out called “Queer Eye”. For anyone uncomfortable with that title, I encourage you to give it a watch. It takes you through the importance of caring for yourself. Looking good really does make you feel good. You cant expect to ace all your classes or be there for friends and family or participate in marching band when you can barely function on your own. You need time to yourself, time to recharge, and time to pamper. It’s not selfish, it’s not a waste of time, its truly important. It boosts your confidence and makes you feel even more motivated to pursue things head on.
So what does self-care and self-love look like? It is easier said than done, I know. Here is a list of a few things I like to do for self-love:
- Stay away from self-deprecating thoughts or comments.
- Do not allow others to make me feel inferior.
- When a negative comment is made by someone else (or yourself) – counter it with something you love about YOU.
- Look in the mirror and point out all the beautiful things about yourself.
- Buy clothing that FITS. Embrace who you are. (It will spark confidence).
Those are a few things I do to self-love. Now, what about self-care? Ah-ha! Heres some ideas:
- Paint your nails.
- Take a long, hot shower. (Use soap, use sponges, make it a pamper session!)
- Brush your hair. Detangle your hair. Moisturize or style your hair.
- Face masks.
- Aromatherapy + music
- Light candles
- Moisturize your skin
- Go shopping
- Go see a movie with friends!
- Buy makeup – Do your makeup
Any of these things will add a bit of color into your life! Make things less of a routine of simply school, work, homework, and bed. Switch it up. Take care of yourself. Find what you love. Collect more passions.
A Happy You is a Healthy You!