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4 Things Every College Student Needs To Pay Attention To For A Healthy And Positive College Life

4 Things Every College Student Needs To Pay Attention To For A Healthy And Positive College Life

How often do you hear individuals reminisce about their college life as being the “best days of their lives”? This nostalgia probably comes from the memories of lots of lounging around and partying. What I bet that you don’t see them bethinking about is the pressure and stress that they also endured throughout this period in their lives.

The fact is that 65% of students are said to have experienced stress due exams and other pressures during their studies (Nightline Association, 2013). Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is essential in both preventing a burn out and ensuring that stress levels are kept to a minimum level. Keeping up with the course work, part time employment, meeting challenging deadlines, and sitting exams are some factors that contribute to mental exertion. The college life is very precious and short lived, which is why it makes sense to be proactive in maximizing the experience. Keeping healthy is the easiest way to do this and it needs to be neither difficult nor time consuming. We have put together some tips below on how you can try to keep healthy throughout your studies:

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1. Have A Healthy Diet

It may seem cheaper, faster and easier to eat fast food or snacks from a vending machine. These short term time gains will have more impact on your productivity than you realize when you factor in the cumulative cost of a poor diet. Maintaining a nutritious diet is the foundation to a healthy lifestyle. A simple way to start to improve your diet is to make sure that you drink plenty of water and opt for fruit as a snack. Variation is important too, so try to eat a wide range of fruits, vegetables and protein sources. This will ensure that you are getting as much nutrition as possible. It might even surprise you how fast a healthy meal can be prepared once you give it a go. Enjoying fast food in moderation is perfectly fine, and you can even use it as a way to reward yourself for hard work. A good practice would be to keep fast food and snacking for the weekend. If you have the will power, try even just once a month.

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2.Take Care Of Your Eye Health

Tiredness, fatigue and eye strain are major issues experienced by anyone who spends long periods of time reading textbooks or looking at a computer screen and most students will do one or both of these activities regularly throughout their studies. Your eye health is very important and should you experience any issues with your sight it is vital that you have your eyes checked by an optometrist as soon as possible. Headaches can sometimes be caused by eye strain and glasses or contact lenses are prescribed for this. This is not always an ideal solution for everyone because glasses and contact lenses can be inconvenient and therefore add to the stress of student life. Laser eye surgery is another option to consider because it would eliminate this extra source of stress by making everyday tasks much more convenient. This would be a long term decision too because the benefits extend beyond just the student experience.

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3. Get Enough Sleep

While students are famous for their late nights, sleep is an integral part of keeping a healthy lifestyle. If you feel yourself getting tired while studying during the day, try not to turn to caffeine. A short nap can be much more beneficial. Just don’t forget to set your alarm! Try to keep your gadgets away to avoid all-nighters because this will negatively affect your overall productivity. You might make a deadline by staying up all night but how good will the end product be? Try and get a full night’s sleep whenever possible. You will feel more refreshed for it and be able to cope with your demanding workload more successfully. This will help you to achieve better results.

4. Keep A Positive Outlook

It is always easier said than done but maintaining a positive outlook and high spirits pays dividends when it comes to exam time. Being in the right frame of mind really does enhance your chances of success because you are better equipped to deal with whatever comes your way. Getting into this mindset can be tricky and at times it may seem like everything is going to be too much. A reliable way to overcome this, and to keep positive, is to think about the reward you will achieve at the end of it all. You are not going through the stress and pressure for nothing, there is a prize at the end. Keep your eye on it. If something does go wrong, for example a mark for an essay is lower than you were expecting, turn the situation into a positive one. Be reassured that you will learn from the mistake and use this to give yourself a boost for the next project. You can’t be perfect at everything, but with enough practice you can get close.

Featured photo credit: study abroadlife via flickr.com

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More by this author

Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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