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How to Avoid Stresses and Serious Health Problems Being a Busy and Working Student

How to Avoid Stresses and Serious Health Problems Being a Busy and Working Student

It is a stunning and unfortunate truth that college students today face a wide variety of physical and mental health challenges that are so severe that they are now considered to be a public health issue. These challenges impact physical, mental, and emotional health. College student health and stress concerns a range from food insecurity to sexual assault. These dangers are difficult for any student to face no matter what their situation is, however, students who work on top of going to school may be at greater risk.

Because they have more strenuous schedules and demands on their time, working students may find it difficult to stay on top of their physical and mental well-being or to successfully manage stress factors. The results of this can include such disturbing issues as increased drug and alcohol use, hospitalizations for mental health issues, increased risk for minor illnesses becoming true health crises, dropping out of school, weight gain, suicide attempts, and more.

If you are, or if you know a working student, take a moment to review the following tips. Following them, especially when life is most strenuous, is extremely important. Because we know that time, money, energy levels, and stress can make it impossible to be perfect, each point includes a bit of a shortcut advice for those who are unable to make big changes.

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Remember That Food Is Fuel

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    Sadly, many students only become concerned with the food that they eat when it begins impacting their waistline. While this isn’t a bad thing, weight management is important after all, it does demonstrate how eating right is often neglected. This is too bad, because proper nutrition impacts physical health, academic performance, and there are important associations between food and comfort and overall well-being. Check out these tips for keeping a healthy diet.

    • Raw fruits and vegetables can be cut up and kept in the fridge for snacking with hummus, salsa, or other healthy dips
    • Salads can be purchased at local grocery stores and delis
    • Yogurt, cheese sticks, and hard boiled eggs are convenient options for keeping full and meeting daily protein and dairy requirements
    • Lentils, rice, oatmeal, beans and other similar items can be bought in bulk, are extraordinarily inexpensive, nutritious, and extremely versatile.
    • One rotisserie chicken purchased at your grocery store can be used to add protein to salads, add meat and heft to casseroles, act as the protein element in several sandwiches, and the carcass can be used for soup.

    Maybe your energy levels are too low, or your stress levels are too high for you to implement the suggestions above. Maybe you don’t have funds or access to make ideal food decisions. That’s okay! You still deserve to be as healthy as possible:

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    • Hunger is a scary thing, but there are people who want to help.
      • Check local food banks.
      • See if your school has a soup kitchen for students.
      • Look for discount grocers in your area such as Aldi or Save-a-Lot.
      • Consider applying for food stamps.
    • If you are broke and too overwhelmed to cook, consider these convenience tips:
      • While not ideal, there are frozen dinners that are organic, GMO-free and relatively healthy.
      • A cheap meal, such as ramen, can be made more complete and healthy with the simple addition of a half a cup of frozen vegetables, boiled in the water with the noodles.
      • The microwave can be used to steam frozen vegetables, bake sweet potatoes, or make healthy versions of whole wheat pizzas.

    Recognize And Get Help For Any Mental Health Issues That You Face

    Mental Health

      Let’s get this out of the way right now. If you are feeling disconnected, anxious, scared, sad, paranoid, angry, or alone, please understand that you are not being dramatic. You are not seeking attention. You are not lacking in self-discipline.

      Any resource about health tips for college students should include mental health resources. For a wide variety of reasons, the college years are high risk for students who might deal with mental health issues that are either situational or clinical. Managing stress at this point is particularly important because the combination of stress and mental illness, can quite frankly, be deadly.

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      If you have mental health concerns please consider:

      • Setting an appointment with a mental health expert.
      • Asking your parent to set you up with counseling via their company’s EAP program.
      • Discussing your options with your primary care provider.

      If you are really struggling, either with your disease, time or finances, here are some suggestions for you:

      • Learn what you need to do when it comes to self-care.
      • Let supportive friends and family know when you need help.
      • Look into on-campus support groups.
      • Consider going to a sliding scale clinic that deals with mental health issues.

      Take It Easy And Know When You Are Overindulging When It Comes To Partying

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      Party

        There is nothing wrong with cutting loose, but overdoing it can be a sign that you have gone too far. If you are drinking or smoking, be honest with yourself. Are you having fun, or are you trying to cope? Are you putting yourself or others at risk? Now, let us be even more honest. Use of dangerous drugs such as opiates and amphetamines are at an all-time high on college campuses. If you need help, please avail yourself to the available campus treatment options.

        On the other hand, students can truly suffer from mental illness, and be without support. If this is you, please contact a 12-step program. Those are always free, and can be truly educational and safe spaces for students dealing with addiction.

        Conclusion

        Even if you believe that you are on an emotional upswing, please take care of yourself on campus. Better yet, make taking care of others a true priority. Then, no matter what happens, remember that there is no shame in seeking help. Please use the above tips to help you if you are in a difficult situation, or if you need help navigating the stressors of college education

        Featured photo credit: http://getrefe.tumblr.com/ via 66.media.tumblr.com

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        Dante Munnis

        content manager

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        Last Updated on January 25, 2021

        What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

        What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

        It’s always fun to do something new, but often we fall into the trap of spending our weekends the same way.

        If you’re stuck in the same old routine, it might be time to try something new.

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        What should I do today? No ideas?

        Everything listed here is something you can easily do no matter where you live, and even on a tight budget! Try out one of these 30 new things today, you’ll be happy you did.

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        Try Out These 30 New Things To Do Today

        1. Visit a suburb in your city that you’ve never been to before, or somewhere you haven’t explored much.
        2. Learn ten phrases in a new language–what about Japanese, Italian or Portuguese?
        3. Listen to a genre of music you haven’t tried before–perhaps Jazz, Punk or Blues?
        4. Have a picnic in your local park complete with a packed lunch and your animal friends.
        5. Start a daily journal to write your thoughts in.
        6. Try a new cuisine–what about French, Lebanese or Korean?
        7. Visit your local library and borrow some books for the weekend.
        8. Plant some flowers in your garden. If you don’t have one, try an indoor potted plant.
        9. Visit a local museum or art gallery and view their latest exhibition.
        10. Learn a new skill–what about sewing, gardening or cooking? You’ll be surprised what you can learn in an afternoon.
        11. Say hello to a neighbor you don’t usually talk to.
        12. Make a card for a friend and send it to them with a handwritten note.
        13. Learn how to cook a new dish for dinner. We all get tired of eating the same thing, why not try making something new?
        14. Re-read an old favorite book. Don’t leave it gathering dust on your book shelf; get it out and read it all over again.
        15. Research the culture of a different country online–what about India, Guatemala or Sweden?
        16. Go for a walk or bicycle ride around your neighborhood.
        17. Watch a classic film like Casablanca, The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz.
        18. Make a photo album of a recent holiday you took. Don’t let your memories get lost on your computer hard drive; make a special keepsake album of your trip.
        19. Visit your local farmers markets and pick out some fresh produce. Farmers markets are full of delicious fresh fruit, veggies and more. Find your local market and take a visit.
        20. Plan a day trip to somewhere outside your city–it might be the seaside, mountains or another city!
        21. Check out what community events are running in your area and attend one.
        22. Make a birthday present for a friend. Handmade gifts are personal and much more special than anything you could buy from a store.
        23. Attend a play at your local theater. Support your local theater and have a fun night out at the same time.
        24. Volunteer with your local nature conservation society to plant some trees. Conservation societies are always looking for helping hands; do your bit and plant some trees.
        25. Be a tourist in your own city and visit all the popular tourist sites you’ve likely never been to (don’t forget your camera!)
        26. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to recently and have a good long chat.
        27. Put on your favorite song and dance your heart out. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!
        28. Invite some friends over for a BBQ. There’s nothing better than an afternoon spent with good friends and good food.
        29. Try out a new form of exercise like Pilates, tennis or swimming.
        30. Organize a clothing swap with your friends. You’ll have a great time, and save some cash and the environment all at the same time!

        Now that you’ve read my list of 30 new things to try today, my question for you is, “what new things will you try today?”

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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