Maintaining Both Mental and Physical Health
So now, you are a college student. What’s next? You are a complex entity of mind, body, and spirit and to function at your highest potential, you must achieve a balance of all three. You want to decrease stress, increase your focus and concentration, and give yourself the edge you need to optimize your potential. Well, welcome to your new normal!
These three entities work together in harmony, and you want them to last a lifetime. For this to happen, you would take pretty special care of them, right?
Well, it is the same deal for your body. Actually, this ever-changing body of yours is really quite a mercurial machine set on presto. You can handle it with care, or you can abuse it. You can control it or let it control you. In a nutshell, your body is a machine, and if you take good care of it, it will serve you well.
Here’s a list of activities that can keep your physical self, replete and relaxed:
Get Enough Sleep
When it comes to balancing busy schedules, students tend to put sleep low on their list of priorities. Wrong! Some people function on a lot less sleep per night (3-4 hours), but most cannot. Sleep deprivation leads to less concentration and the inability to get the most out of the day. If you are sleep deprived, find a way to work regular naps into your schedule.
Learn to Relax
It is easier said than done for a college student to learn to relax with all the high levels of anxiety and testosterone and sometimes adrenaline rush percolating through their system. Do your best and learn to put things in perspective. If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, reach out and ask for help from a professor, friend, or health professional.
Work in Walking
It is a college campus, so take full advantage of walking opportunities! Well, ditch the car sometimes and make walking your main form of transportation. It is satisfying and rewarding, and you will find out there is no better way to get your workout exercise on
Get a Two-Wheeler
When the weather agrees with you, opt for the bike. Just do not leave home without a bike helmet and protective gear and ride responsibly with plenty of regard for other road users.
Spend Time at the Campus Center
My favorite spot while I was in college! Take advantage of it! Become a member of a club and social groups on campus. This will enhance your social circle and help you meet new friends.
Cut down on late night eating and overindulgence of junk food. There is much truth to the expression “You are what you eat.” I am not an expert in nutrition and everything diet, but I have found two rules of thumb that have worked for me over time.
First Rule of Thumb: Know your body and what is a hard limit for you. Pay close attention to how different foods make you feel and use that as a guide to develop your own do’s and don’ts.
Personally, this is how I respond to different foods. Whenever I eat a big meal right before bed, I feel dreadful in the morning. And whenever I eat too many fried food, nachos, or pizza, I feel bloated from constipation. (Sound familiar?). These are my don’ts.
Conversely, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water gives my body the right balance and high-quality fuel for a great performance. These are my do’s.
Second Rule of Thumb: Everything in moderation. Learn to practice portion-eating. A little junk food on occasion is not the worst crime against humanity. It is okay to ‘live a little’ and besides, pleasures are enhanced by a moderate indulgence. Just don’t be too excessive. Remember, food affects mood. So, eat with caution.
Remember the phrase: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” Skipping breakfast is never an option when it comes to maintaining healthy habits. It contributes to weight gain and lack of concentration.
You do not have to eat a big breakfast; a bowl of cereal, breakfast bars, or a cup of yoghurt will give a happier and healthier boost to your day.
Many students have significant problems with eating disorders, which can pose a serious and deadly threat to their health. If you or anyone you know have serious issues with food or nutrition, seek help at your school’s Office of Counseling and Psychological Services immediately.
Keep Hydrated: Drink Plenty of Water
Most people do not get nearly enough water. Kick those soda cravings and get into the habit of drinking water. This is essential for the overall physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Do not forget to carry your water bottle when you go out next time.
In the event of an emergency, make sure that those around you know who to contact for immediate assistance and support
Get Regular Checkups
Days when mom and dad took care of this for you are already well spent, but now it is up to you to assume that role and be responsible for visiting a doctor regularly.
Wash Hands Properly and Stay Up-To-Date with your vaccinations
Thorough hand washing can protect you and others from a range of infectious diseases. Do not forget to keep your Covid-19 and Flu Shots up to date.
Understand time management and its core benefits. From getting assignments done to managing self, more effectively.
Related: Getting Ready For College: Know Your Recommended Course Load
Practice Safe Sex
I know…the most dreaded lecture 🙄Sex Education 101/A Parent’s Guide to Sex Education. No teen or college student wants to have the discussion about the birds and the bees, but it is one you need to remember. Know the physical risks and emotional instability that can come because of casual and unsafe sex. Never do anything you are not completely comfortable with and be ready and willing to engage in that important conversation.