A Student’s Guide to a Healthier New Year

When the new year begins, people often set a goal to improve some aspect of their lifestyle. Whether it’s spending less money, getting in shape, or reducing stress in your life, setting your sights on a healthier you is a crucial first step to making the necessary changes. However, as a student, if can be difficult to make minor or major life changes when so much of your time is dedicated to your studies. Keep reading to discover some simpler solutions that will help you feel your best this year.

Ditch Dieting

Diets rarely work in the long term because they are often restrictive and don’t offer any support system for maintaining their “healthy” way of eating. Instead of dieting, start off small by adjusting your consumption of a certain food or food group one week, and keep building on this over several weeks. Incorporate more of the foods that are so great for your body and reduce, but not necessarily eliminate, the foods that don’t make you feel your best. Focus on nourishing your body and not on cutting out entire food groups. It’s important to educate yourself not only on the types of foods that are good for you but also why they are beneficial.

Practice Mindfulness

In the fast-paced world we live in, it can be difficult to slow your mind. However, with a little practice, incorporating mindfulness into your daily life isn’t hard and it doesn’t have to take up any extra time. To be mindful means to be aware of your present thoughts and feelings. To practice mindfulness, find a comfortable place to sit, deepen your breath, and focus on how your body feels. There are many free apps out there that can help you get the hang of it. You can also practice mindfulness while doing daily activities such as showering, washing the dishes, or walking to class if you feel like you don’t have enough time to take a dedicated break.

Cherish Sleep

Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial to you overall well-being. Sleep essentially recharges your whole body and affects everything from your ability to concentrate to your immune system. Getting enough sleep starts with proper time management. When you don’t leave yourself enough time to complete an assignment or study for a test, it can be tempting or even necessary to stay up late to finish what needs to be done. However, this often leads to poor performance. By planning your time properly, you can avoid these late night cram sessions. If you’re having a hard time going to bed, set up an alarm (or three) on your phone to remind you to go to bed!

Keep Moving

Staying active doesn’t have to mean lifting weights or running a marathon. The first step is to find an activity that you enjoy so that you’re more likely to stick with it. There are so many activities you could partake in, like hiking, playing an intramural sport, or attending fitness classes. Sneak in some extra physical activity by going for a walk between classes, doing balancing exercise while getting ready in the morning, or swapping out movie night with friends for something that gets your blood pumping.