Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in college can be a struggle. The college budget is tight and the workload is stressful. The combination of the two can cause a student to go from thriving to surviving. In order to stay alert, students may flood their grocery carts with items that are dominated by sugar, caffeine and carbs. The effects of these wreak havoc on one’s mind and body. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. Making little changes to your health will improve things in a big way.
Start with a plan. As with most college subjects, an outline or plan is required first before tackling the bigger objectives. Creating a list or chart that lists healthy choices in foods and exercise activities, early on, is recommended. Ramen may only cost you .30 a package, but may not be the healthiest choice. Stick to the grocery list in your hand and avoid the unhealthy temptations.
Enlist a friend or classmate. Having someone that you are accountable to can help when you start to feel discouraged or stressed. Be sure to find a person that you trust who will provide good feedback and support.
Take advantage of available resources. The newly opened UVU health facility is ideal for those students on a budget. It’s easily accessible and offers a variety of choices for recreational activities. If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can join one of the health club groups on campus. The key here is to utilize the resources available to you. These facilities and programs are meant to be used.
Acknowledge your weaknesses. If you crave ice cream and peanut M&Ms during midterms, research other methods of dealing with the stress and fatigue. Knowing ahead of time what triggers a negative behavior gives you a chance to replace it with a positive one. It may mean that you have to turn down late night outings or social media surfing in order to get a few extra zzz’s, but your body will thank you.
Reward the little victories along the way. Whether it’s getting an A on a paper or reaching a fitness goal, celebrate the positive effects of healthy living. Rewards can help keep the momentum going.
You are in the right place. The decision to go to college was a smart one. While stress and fatigue won’t completely be eliminated throughout your college experience, they don’t have to dominate it. There are lots of resources and support systems in place to help you reach your goals. By making simple changes now, you’ll soon see success is within reach.