Being a senior in college, I know how stressful and demanding school can be. Here are a couple tips on how to stay mentally and physically healthy during these four hectic years of our lives.
Trade your morning coffee for a glass of water.
Instead of turning on that keurig as soon as you wake up, grab a cold glass of water. I'm telling you, it really jump-starts your morning. Bring a water bottle to class and fill it up throughout the day, too. Obviously, I still drink coffee because I basically can't function without it, but make sure to incorporate a lot of water as well. I've found that I'm more focused and awake the more water that I drink.
I usually start with a bowl of oatmeal filled with whatever you want – blueberries, walnuts, cinnamon, and honey are usually my go-to. It's crucial to eat breakfast because it gives you energy for the rest of the day. You're basically fasting for 8 hours (let's be real, it's probably less than that) through the night, so you're stomach is empty and ready to go as soon as you wake up. If you're tight on time, grab a protein bar. I personally like the Think Thin chocolate mint protein bar, it's plant based and tastes like a dessert, so win-win.
I know, people in the world write about how amazing yoga is in their blog, but it's true. I randomly decided to take yoga in college, and it honestly changed my whole outlook on it. It's both mentally and physically rewarding; it keeps you in shape while at the same time helping your mental health. I highly recommend taking a yoga class, or even just looking up some yoga poses on YouTube and practicing at home.
I recently downloaded an app called Simple Habit, and it reminds me every day at a certain time to mediate for 5 minutes. Just taking that small amount of time out of your busy day to clear your head makes such a huge impact on your mental health.
Put down that 5,000-page biology book for a few minutes and read something actually enjoyable. Recently, I've been reading To All The Boys I've Loved Before because I'm 13 years old. I think it's important to take some time to read something for entertainment and your own pleasure rather than always reading books for school. Not only does reading improve your cognitive skills and widens your vocab and can help you relax.
Write in a journal.
I've always had a journal since I was probably in elementary school. Although I don't use my Girl Tech password journal anymore, I still like to write in a journal sometimes just to get my thoughts on paper. It helps me to reflect on my day and make sense of everything. It's kind of like free therapy. Also, I think it would be cool to go back five, ten, even fifty years from now and read my old journals and see how my mind has changed over time.
I can admit that I wasn't the best at self-care when I first started college. It took me a while to figure out how important it is to take care of yourself in order to stay sane and be healthy. It's hard to prioritize our own health especially when we're used to prioritizing school, work and everything else in between. Just making a few small positive changes in your daily routine can make all the difference.