With how hectic college is, it’s easy to get caught up in a ton of things without worrying about yourself. There’s staying on top of homework and classes, possibly working a part-time job and still trying to work in some social time with friends. But your health is something that can’t just be pushed to the back burner. Here are some ways to make sure you’re taking care of yourself in college.
Yes, it’s hard to do when cafeteria food and fast foot restaurants surround you, but it is doable. Keeping granola bars or fruit in your dorm for a quick breakfast is an easy way to start the day off right. Try to keep healthy snack foods in there as well for when you get the munchies at night or during homework sessions.
While you’re in the dining hall, try to choose the options that aren’t pizza. Hit up the salad bar or see if you can get your burger without a bun and with some tomato and lettuce on it. Instead of having soda or juice with your meal, drink water or skim milk. You might be drinking more calories than you think.
Drink Lots Of Water
Making sure you get enough water during the day can do wonders. It helps regulate your body temperature, lubricates your joints so they’re moving smoothly and aids your digestive system. It also helps you feel full so you aren’t craving snacks as often.
Dehydration has serious side effects, even if it’s just mild. It can make you feel tired, give you headaches and make it harder to concentrate—none of which are good when you have a full class load. Carry a refillable water bottle around campus during classes to make sure you always have some with you.
Watch Your Alcohol Intake
College is famous for being the time to let loose and party. Unfortunately, those parties are also famous for beer bongs and other binge drinking. If you’re going to drink, do it in moderation (if you are of legal age) and don’t do it every night—or even every weekend.
It is estimated that 50% of full-time college students binge drink or use drugs at least once per month. Drinking frequently not only leads to a lovely hangover the next day, but could have more long-term effects on your mental and physical health. If you’re underage, you run the risk of getting kicked out of school and facing worse from the cops. It can also impact your grades and cause you to miss class if you really overdo it. And if you’re looking to enjoy college and be your healthiest self, drugs shouldn’t be a part of the equation.
If you find yourself drinking or using drugs constantly or because you’re trying and numb feelings or think you’re depressed, don’t hesitate to get help. These are signs of an addiction and could jeopardize more than just your college experience, but your overall quality of life.
Utilize The Gym
Most campuses have a free or reduced-rate gym for students to take advantage of. While it may be impossible for you to go daily, try to get in a few times a week. Taking walks around campus can help, too, or see if there’s an intramural sport you can participate in. If all else fails, do a dorm workout routine in between study sessions.
Get Enough Sleep
This is crucial. Sleep deprivation effects you physically and mentally and can hit you without you realizing it. Try to stick to a sleep schedule to get your body into a rhythm and ensure you’re getting the seven to nine hours you need each night. Take a short nap during the day if you feel you need one.
Also, make sure you’re prepping yourself before you need to be in bed. Make sure your room is dark, you’re not eating or drinking before bed (especially caffeine) and that you’re limiting your screen time before you sleep. All of those things can impact the quality of sleep that you’re getting.
Taking care of yourself in college may get tricky, but it isn’t impossible. Something helpful to try might be keeping a bullet journal to keep track of what you’re doing each day, as well as eating and drinking. It’s a good way to make sure you aren’t forgetting your health.
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