When stressing about classes, homework, and midterms, it's easy for college students to neglect their health and overall well-being. While staying on top of your health doesn't have to involve any major life adjustments, small changes can go a long way.
1. Start off every morning with something to eat
There's a reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day! While no one enjoys cutting down on sleep, waking up an hour early to get food before class will keep you energized throughout the day. And if you're running late, keep it simple by grabbing a fruit and yogurt on the way to class.
2. Make the most out of dining hall food
Sure, it's not ideal eating the same five foods for every meal, but even the scarcest of dining halls have healthy options available. You don't have to like everything offered, but take advantage of the salad bar and fruit stand to see what works for you.
Drink lots of water! Carry a water bottle with you to class and make sure to refill it throughout the day. And if you get tired of drinking the same thing every day, add in some watermelon chunks or lemon slices for extra flavor.
4. Stock up on healthy snacks
No one wants to walk to the dining hall when it's 30 degrees out or it's past midnight, so it's important to keep some healthy snacks on you at all times. Carry some granola bars in your backpack and keep a pack of yogurt in your fridge.
5. Cut down on soda and other caffeinated drinks
Yes, there's a soda machine in the dining hall and some cold Sprite would taste great right now, but constantly drinking unhealthy drinks will only hurt you in the long run. Stick to healthy drinks and if you're really craving caffeine, try and limit your Starbucks trips to a couple times a week.
6. Try and stick to a routine
College is chaotic, and trying to keep a routine is difficult. However, sticking to a schedule can reduce stress and can aid in attempts to be healthy.
Make time in your schedule to get in some sort of physical exercise. Lift weights at the gym or go outside for a quick run if the weather is nice. Workouts don't have to be extremely time-consuming or strenuous, but the endorphin rush will leave you feeling happier and more energized.
8. Take your vitamins
It seems almost insignificant, but taking vitamins daily is a quick and easy way to keep up with your health.
9. Sanitize regularly
Wash your hands! Flu season is just around the corner and no one wants to end up in bed sick. Keep up with your hygiene and take all necessary precautions to make sure you don't get sick.
10. Get enough sleep
As a college student, sleep may sound like a foreign concept, but getting a good amount of sleep EVERY night is so important. Try going to sleep at a reasonable time so that you wake up more refreshed and ready to learn.
11. Take time to de-stress
Staying healthy is about more than physical health, as mental health is just as important. If you're ever feeling overwhelmed, take time to do something that relaxes you. Whether it be meditating or writing in a journal, find a way to calm your mind.
Being in college comes with a new set of responsibilities, and it can seem impossible to stay on top of your health. It's okay to indulge every once in a while or take time off for yourself. The most important thing is finding things that work for you and make you happier.