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:
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.
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.
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