Back to School: Mind and Body Health
It’s that time of year again; summer is drawing to a close, and the start of the semester is drawing ever nearer. We all know that once the school year begins, all hell breaks loose. You barely have time to think, let alone eat and sleep. It’s so easy to slip into bad health habits like skipping meals and not getting enough sleep when school (and life in general) has got you stressed out. It’s important to practice healthy habits so you can keep your mind and body in good condition. These habits will also help you put your best foot forward in your academics. Try incorporating these tips into your daily routine to help you keep your mind and body healthy and ready to take on the new year!
And lots of it. Your body needs to stay hydrated so that it can function properly. Your body is composed mostly of water and so it needs quite a bit to stay properly hydrated. Carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day so you will always have a drink available when you feel thirsty. It also serves as a reminder that you need to drink more water. You will have so much more energy and focus if you keep your body hydrated.
Eat regular meals.
Inconsistency is one of the worst things you can do for your body and your mind when it comes to nutrition. Your body never stops working and is constantly using up energy and nutrients provided by food, but what happens when your body runs out of nutrients and energy? Your body instinctually goes into starvation mode and starts building layers of fat to use as a source of energy–not to mention you will feel tired and sluggish because your body is trying to conserve all the energy it can. If you eat sporadically and without a good regimen, your body can become confused and will trigger its survival mechanisms, thus building fat layers, and gaining weight no matter what kinds of food you are eating. So no matter how busy and stressful your days are, make yourself a regular meal schedule and stick to it because weight gain will only add to your stress and further harm your body. Pack snacks, prepare meals ahead of time. Do whatever you need to do.
Make time for sleep.
Sleep is an essential process for healthy mental and bodily functions. Sleep allows the mind to rest while the body recharges itself, preparing itself for another day of hard work. Your body needs sleep just as much as food and water to function properly. Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep–not just a few hours here and there. The recommended six to eight hours allows your body to go through every sleep cycle and properly rejuvenate. Studying and work can wait because if you don’t get a proper amount of rest, your mind won’t function at its highest potential. Thus, you won’t have as much success as you would with a good night’s sleep.
Have some fun.
Life can’t be all work, all the time. You need to take some time to just relax and enjoy yourself. Forget about all the things you have to do. Your mind needs a break from life’s constant stresses. So go have some fun! Grab some ice cream with your friend, take some time to read a good book–whatever you like! Just let yourself enjoy life for a bit, because as the saying goes, you only live once.
Resources: health.com, womenshealthmag.com, Personal Experience