Living a healthy life in college can be a challenge. Sickness travels quickly, stress runs rampant and exercise is pushed to the back burner. Before you know it, you are putting your body and health last and allowing school work, extracurricular obligations, jobs and social activities to interfere with your well being. Trust me, I do this too often and it is NOT FUN. You end up burnt out, sick and unhappy. In order to break that pattern and have a healthy college semester, I am sharing with you the wisdom that I have acquired and things I strive for.
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Stop the sickness before it reaches you! I know this is easier said than done but try to avoid touching your eyes, mouth or face. Wash your hands like crazy and when you aren’t near a sink, use a gentle antibacterial hand sanitizer. Personally, my hands get really dry from alcohol based sanitizer so I LOVE this foaming hand sanitizer because it won’t lead to cracked and dry skin! It is a bit pricier than some but I think it is worth the investment.
Make sure to also sanitize your dorm room or apartment especially if you have roommates. Whenever my roommate or I get sick, we wipe down the entire room with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Don’t forget to clean things like door knobs too!
My last tip to avoid sickness (and really, I should credit my boyfriend Dani for this one since he is the one who told me about it), is take a multi-vitamin! Since I have started taking the Centrum Women Multivitamin I no joke get sick maybe once a semester compared to five or six times. If you hate pills and would rather have a gummy version, they have that too! Extra bonus from the vitamins: My hair is also growing like crazy and my nails are so much stronger.
For more tips on how to avoid sickness, check out this post I wrote about it!
You have heard it a thousand times and now you are going to hear it again. Sleep in college is your #1 best friend. I have noticed that when I sleep more, not only am I more alert in class and happier but I also get sick so less frequently!
In order to improve the quality of your sleep, invest in a comfortable mattress pad and pillow. I highly recommend Infinizen Memory Foam Mattress Bed Topper. Your sleep quality will improve and you won’t want to get out of bed (although I don’t know if that is necessarily a good thing haha!).
In order to make sure you are going to bed at a reasonable time, try and set a “bedtime alarm”. Last semester, I tried to set an alarm every evening at 10:15 PM. This was my signal that it was time for me to stop working, wind down and get ready for bed.
Honestly, I am not an expert on this and won’t try to be. This is something I am always struggling with both finding time and motivation to do! However, I have found that when I am doing exercise that is fun, I am way more excited to do it (not much of a profound thought, I know, but let me explain).
I used to think exercise meant a dreaded 45 minutes on the treadmill. These last few months I have experimented with some new kinds of exercise and I couldn’t be more happy with what I have found! My new favorite thing to do is go onto YouTube and watch cardio dance and Zumba tutorials! There are tons of them and the best part is they are free.
I have had so much fun doing these and find I am a lot more motivated to actually put on my exercise clothes and do something active. My biggest advice is find an exercise routine that works for you and that you enjoy!
Mental health is something that I have dealt with a lot in college. If you feel like you are struggling with a mental health illness, please try to reach out to someone whether that be a friend, family member, professor or doctor. I know that there are a lot of difficulties around talking about mental illness but, as someone who has suffered the lowest of lows with an anxiety disorder and has overcome it thanks to the help of doctors, family and friends, there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel. In my anxiety post, you will find additional resources. As always, you are welcome to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few of my friends who moved from really sunny places to colder, darker climates found the HappyLight Lamp to be beneficial for their mental health. Basically what this does is provides light that improves mood, energy and concentration. It is helpful for people who get seasonal affective disorder as well. The one I linked above is also portable and so you can easily set it on your desk when you are studying!
Stress is inevitable in college where students are pushed to do their best, study hard and get the best test scores and grades. Students put a lot of pressure on themselves which often leads to stress. If you feel like your stress is getting out of hand, reach out to someone. Your professors are great resources as well and can try to help you in any way possible.
It is also important to reduce stress by practicing self care! I will be posting a complete guide to self care this month that I will be linking here.
If you have any questions about staying healthy in college, feel free to comment them below!