Taking care of yourself will contribute to a better school experience
Being a student in college or career school can be an exciting time of life. You are meeting new people and learning new things every day! One of the challenges, however, is finding a way to finish all your school work, study for exams, fit in some part-time work, and keep in touch with your friends too. Many students end up feeling too busy and constantly stressed out. When this happens, one of the first things that suffers is their self-care. If this stressed-out lifestyle describes you, then take a moment to reflect. Ask yourself: Am I taking good care of myself? Is self-care a top priority for me? If the answer is no, try these tips to get back on track!
Tip 1: Get good sleep
Staying up all night cramming for an exam may result in short-term gain, but in the long run, it wears you out. Instead, get organized and set up a study calendar so that you can chip away at your studying little by little. This way you won’t find yourself in an all-night emergency, and you can go to bed at a normal hour the night before the exam. If you are someone who has trouble sleeping, try this advice for improving your sleep hygiene.
Tip 2: Minimize the junk foods
Eating fast foods, snack foods, and other junk foods may seem convenient, but truly, they take a toll on your wallet, your waistline, and your overall wellness. Instead, choose healthier eating options:
- Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at regular intervals to avoid energy slumps
- Choose lower fat white meats over high fat red meats
- Choose fruits over processed sweets
- Choose vegetables over crunchy salty snacks
- Limit your salty snacks and sweets by having just one serving size
- Limit sugary drinks like sodas, juices, and sports drinks
- Limit your consumption of alcoholic drinks
- Drink adequate amounts of water to avoid dehydration
- Brush your teeth or chew gum to help stave off late-night snacking
Tip 3: Make the time to exercise
Oftentimes when you get too busy, the exercise routine is the first to go. But skipping a few workouts can be a slippery slope in the wrong direction. One suggestion is to do your exercise first thing in the morning, before anything else can distract you. Another suggestion is to exercise with a friend. Friends can encourage one another to stick with their exercise regimens, and best of all, friends can make exercising fun!
Tip 4: Reduce your stress
Let’s face it, being a student can be stressful. However, you don’t have to let the stress get the better of you. There are ways to manage your stress and maintain a healthy perspective on your life and your school. Try:
- Working in time for yoga or meditation
- Knowing your limits—saying no to extra commitments that will make you more stressed
- Organizing your days and your weeks ahead of time, to avoid last-minute rushes
- Talking to friends about your stressors and venting your feelings
- Prioritizing what is most important, and not worrying about the rest
Tip 5: Keep positive influences in your life
Staying positive is an important part of self-care. If you are feeling down, complaining a lot, or generally feeling grumpy, you may not be caring for yourself well enough. Try to keep positive by:
- Saying affirming words
- Framing your thoughts with a can-do approach, rather than a can’t do mindset
- Surrounding yourself with positive people
- Finding something to laugh at every day
- Helping others and being part of the community around you
Taking the time to care for yourself is an investment that is well worth it. With better self-care strategies, you can perform better in school, feel more positive about yourself, and enjoy everything your educational journey has to offer.
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