10 Healthy Habits That Will Change Your Life in College
Are you tired of feeling like your life is out of control? Find out 10 ways you can change your life for the better and avoid all the stress in college.
College is already hard on its own. The stress of attending classes, keeping a social life (not quite as social anymore because of COVID), dealing with mental health in this new environment, trying to figure out yourself. You’re basically becoming a mini adult. You now make your own decisions, your own rules. You’re basically “free” from parental supervision, but how do you use that freedom to make healthy choices for yourself?
1. Drink water regularly during the day
You might not notice this, but one of the main reasons which you are sometimes tired during the day is because you don’t have enough water in your system to get the energy you need. Drinking water is essential for your wellbeing. It flushes out toxins in your body, gives you clear skin, helps with your digestion.
The Harvard Medical school recommends drinking four to six cups of water daily for the average healthy gal. A simple way you can do this is to drink one glass every two hours. Or better yet, get a water bottle that has the time labeled on it. It will increase the likeliness that you will drink the appropriate amount water daily.
If you go with option one, make sure you write it down on your schedule, your google calendar or set a reminder on your phone.
For example, 1: Drink a glass of water.
If you go with option two, always carry your water bottle with you. If you leave it at random places inside your house, you will forget that it’s there. So make sure to have it with you at all times.
A lot of time, people don’t do this because they think they will remember. But you most likely won’t. Your brain is already juggling with enough things to do during the day it will be hard for you to remember.
2. Devote at least 30 minutes of exercise daily
Exercise has so many benefits, such as it makes you feel happier, make you look good, helps you feel more confident in your body. This is why you need to take time for your body and treat it like you would treat your phone. Think about how much you love your phone. You wouldn’t want it to break or glitch. You buy a case protector for it, make sure to install the newest updates to keep it fresh.
But think about doing it for yourself too. Just like you would buy a case protector for your phone, protect your immune system by making physical activity a part of your routine. Even if it is just 10 min walk 3 times during the day or going up and down the stairs in your house. It doesn’t have to be all in one sitting if your schedule doesn’t allow that. Make it work for you!
3. Eat more fruits
Fruits are a great option for snack. A lot of times we as college students might think that it’s expensive, we can’t afford it—at least that’s what I used to tell myself. But that is not true. Think about the number of times you’ve bought those huge Starbucks drinks on campus.
Did you know that the price of a Caramel Macchiato drink (a favorite of mine) could buy you a pack of apples? Another tip is to buy fruits that are in season. They are usually cheaper and in greater quantity. So, take advantage of it.
4. Eat more veggies
This is one that gets people the most. I personally had to force myself to eat broccoli and venture into new vegetable such as brussels sprouts, asparagus, kale to name a few. Eating more veggies will keep you fuller longer and you give you most of the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Another reason you might not like veggies is the method you are cooking them. Make sure to add some spice/ flavor to it. Otherwise, it going to be really hard to implement this habit. Try out different types of veggies and find which ones you like. Find interesting ways you can cook it in a simple manner.
My rule of thumb is to buy one veggie in bulk for one week. Get your favorite flavoring like 21 Seasoning salute from Trader joe’s and mix them together.
5. Meal prep your food
This is one of the main reasons that most people tend to make unhealthy food choices on a regular basis. You don’t have a plan. When you are left we no plan, you go with default, meaning you will most likely want a quick snack that might not satisfy you so you will grab more to eat and end up feeling regret because one unhealthy choice made it okay to continue.
That’s how you end up in a spiral. I’ve done this so many times. Block out a time on the weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. Then make you meal. This will ensure that you keep making healthy food choices during the week because you would already have you fruits and veggies ready to go. Seriously life changing.
6. Get 7 hours of sleep
Sleep doesn’t feel like most of a priority to people, but you need sleep in order to function better. Students pulling all nighters trying to get all the information in the last minute. Pulling an “all-nighters” don’t help at all. In hurts you more than you know. They are nothing to brag about. Get your beauty rest.
Poor sleeping habits affect how well you do in class. Research shows that people who pull all nightery are more likely to have a lower GPA. You’re even more tired during the day because of you lack sleep. Exams come and go, but your wellbeing is necessary if you still want to keep those good grades in the future. Take care of yourself now.
Writing your thoughts are feelings are a great way to deal with our emotions instead of just acting out on it. Take time to reflect to reflect on yourself. Write down the things you’re proud of, the things you want to do in life, the things you want to change in your life. This is a habit that will change your life and the way you see things.
The more you are in tune with yourself, the more you will radiate and become your true self. This is what has helped me become a more confident person. Take it from someone who used to have a low self-esteem.
8. Spend time off social media
“I just want to stay in touch we friends” is what we tell ourselves, but really seeing everyone’s highlight reels brings nothing but discontentment. Everyone post those happy go luck pictures (including me) and we assume they must be living the dream life. First you don’t know what someone is going through behind close doors.
Instead of always keeping up with the Joneses’, keep up with yourself. Take time off the screen and constant scrolling and take a walk outside. Practice your favorite hobby, whether it’s baking, knitting, dancing, drawing. Do more of the things you love, and you will get fulfillment that you never though you could have.
College is a high stress environment. I used to think meditation was too boring. I would sleep during meditation because I thought it was too stupid to just breathe.
Well, I was the fool. Because the power of meditation isn’t just about breathing. It is about noticing your thoughts, focusing on an intention you want to set. Lot of times we go on about our day without thinking about how we will approach the day when we’re faced with bad grades or bad news from our friends or professor (help, pop quiz).
Setting an intention helps you stay grounded and reduces anxiety. This is important especially now in covid times and taking classes online. You want to make time for your mental health and focus on the present.
10. Take responsibility of your own actions
One thing I have noticed a lot in my peers is the need to always justify themselves and prove that they are right in every situation. Often the blame is towards the professor and how bad they are. Although some professors are not fair, it is important to take responsibilities of your actions instead of always putting blame on others.
You cannot control the grade a professor grades you; you can’t control the material of the class and the way a professor needs to grade. Instead of complaining and always dwelling in negativity, find ways you can do better in the future.
Taking responsibilities even when you’re not at fault will keep you happier, trust me. Until you start you do that, you will always be unhappy. Let go of grudges and strive to do better in the future.
How to make being healthy in college easy
In all, these habits will not magically appear all in one day. Instead try to incorporate this in your life in the smallest way. These tips are not easy, but it will be over time. College doesn’t have to be a high stress environment or a blur. Make it count by using these habits that will last well beyond your college years. Which habits are you most excited to implement?