University can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help keep you at your best in school, and in life in general.
Our bodies were made to move, so we should move! It’s as simple as that. The main purpose of getting exercise is not to achieve a certain body type or even a level of fitness (we’re not all Olympic athletes) but to reap the many benefits of engaging in regular exercise:
Variety is key. Try working out different muscle groups every day to keep your whole body strong. Look for new ways of exercising that you’ve never done before.
Keep it cheap. Gym memberships are not necessary (especially on a students budget). Many exercises, like body weight training, can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Do it together. We need not invoke Isaiah 27:17 to tell you that exercising with someone helps you stay accountable, makes it more enjoyable and gives you someone to compete against. Have fun!
It’s easy to let the pressure of school turn you into a grumpy, smelly, sweatpants-wearing ball of stress – but you don’t have to! Taking the time and effort to care for yourself will boost your self-confidence. These are simple things like:
Taking regular showers. This should be obvious.
Dental care. Brushing your teeth and flossing daily means a nicer smile, fresher breath…and fewer trips to the dentist.
Clean your room. This includes making your bed every morning. If you tackle this first task, you will be better equipped mentally to tackle other, bigger challenges that the day may bring.
Food can be a struggle for new students, especially because it is often the first time you are doing all your own meal planning, shopping and cooking. Eating well is important. Here are some quick tips for maintaining a good diet in college:
Food is meant to nourish your body and give you energy, not just provide a quick fix. If your school has a cafeteria, don’t eat all your meals there.
Take time to understand nutrition and diet. Learn to cook for yourself and plan out your meals a week at a time. Spring for the good quality stuff even if it’s pricier.
Food is best enjoyed communally; set up dinners together with your roommates and friends or eat out together once in a while.
Being firmly committed to the other four categories will have a positive impact on your mental health. It’s all connected:
It’s about balance. Find the equilibrium of solitude, rest, time with friends, and work, that is good for you. Make your boundaries clear for yourself and others.
Know your purpose. Figure out what you’re doing and why, then go for it!
Spend time alone with God. If you maintain one thing on the whole list let it be this. You were created for intimacy with a dynamic, infinite, personal, all-loving Creator!
Sleep is one of the most crucial elements of success in your college studies. It’s common knowledge that people need at least 7 hours of sleep per night, but many students short-change sleep for schoolwork, entertainment, and socializing. Here is some helpful advice about sleep:
Pulling an all-nighter before your mid-term won’t help you remember the answers, it will actually make it harder to store and recall information.
Manage your screens. The blue light from your computer and phone stimulates your brain and makes it harder to fall asleep.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This will regulate your circadian rhythm and give you more energy throughout the day.