Is being “healthy” all about getting SICK GAINZ at the gym? Is it crushing your personal best at marathon distance? Is it being able to pretzel your limbs into the toughest yoga shape?
Being “healthy” isn’t really any of those things. But it could involve some of those things, and that’s the beauty of it. With so many different ways to stay healthy, you can find what works best for you and you alone.
But staying healthy (body and mind) isn’t always easy when your schedule is packed with to-dos. Managing wellness in the midst of college can be especially tricky. But sticking to a few basic tips can do wonders to keep your mind and body in balance.
There. is. so. much. unhealthy. food. out. there. And a lot of it is very, very tempting. But mountains of chips and oceans of soda aren’t going to keep you fueled up. Instead, keep these easy tips in mind:
- Good Morning: Breakfast is important, but you don’t have to prepare a feast every morning. Grabbing a healthy breakfast bar, a yogurt, some oatmeal, or a piece of your favorite fruit is a great way to kickstart the day.
- Find the Good Stuff: Eating at the dining hall? Fill up on healthy foods like salads and soups to really take advantage of the full spread of options. Sticking to water (bubbly or still) will help cut down on unnecessary sugars and keep you hydrated too.
- Meal Plan: Just like your to-do list, sticking to a meal schedule is important. Scheduling breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at roughly the same time makes it easier to eat well-rounded meals instead of quicker-but-less-healthy alternatives.
- Eat For You and You Only: Find what works for you. Someone else’s diet or intake might work for them, but it doesn’t mean you should feel pressured to do the same. Try your best to eat healthily, but don’t kick yourself over enjoying pizza or sweets too.
You don’t have to be all about that #gymlife to stay fit. In fact, you don’t have to go to a gym at all. When it comes to staying active, you have tons of options:
- IM Time: Joining an intramural team can be a great way to stay active and expand your social circle at the same time. It’s also a fun way to try a new sport of activity you’re not super familiar with.
- Make Time for Exercise: Scheduling your workouts (are you seeing a pattern here?) makes it easier to stick to them and relieves the pressure of having to fit them in on the fly.
- Find Your Workout: “Working out” can mean a lot of different things. Lifting weights, going for a walk, jogging, doing some yoga, playing a sport, riding a bike, or doing a few quick push ups in your dorm room are all great ways to stay active.
Mental health is just as important as your physical health. It’s incredibly important to focus on your mental wellbeing and, just like fitness, it can be done in a number of ways:
- Talk, Talk, Talk: If you’re struggling mentally or emotionally, reach out to a trusted friend or mental health professional. Talking openly about these kinds of issues will help you find a way to better manage them.
- Clean Up: Keep a tidy living space. Regularly cleaning up your dorm room or house can do wonders for a cluttered mind.
- Get Those Zs: Sleep is important to maintaining a healthy mental state. Try to get around eight hours of rest every night. Yes, that’s tricky (especially in college). But your body and brain will thank you!
- Seek Help: If you have any thoughts of suicide or self harm, please talk to someone or call the Suicide and Crisis Hotline at 988.