11 Ways to Stay Sane During First Semester
With midterms approaching at an alarming rate, school can seem daunting and stressful. If you would like to learn about some ways have fun and fairly stress-free semester, there are 11 ways to do that below.
- Get at Least 8-9 Hours of Sleep a Day
No matter who you go to, you will be told that getting enough sleep is one of the biggest factors to your health. According to Anne Harding from Health.com, “While you’re sleeping, the body repairs damaged tissue, produces crucial hormones, and strengthens memories—a process called consolidation.” Among memory consolidation and many other healing processes, your body “[regulates] hormone levels, insulin levels, [and] your blood pressure is being kept under control.”
- Exercise for a Minimum of 30 minutes a Day
Whether it’s walking to work and/or school, spending some time at the gym, or going to a workout class, taking time out of your day to exercise can be very beneficial to your health. Instead of snoozing your alarm in the morning, try going to bed at a decent time and getting up a little bit earlier to go for a morning jog or walk.
- Eat a Balanced and Nutritious Diet
In college, it is often hard to find the money and time to go grocery shopping. While fresh produce is more expensive, spending the extra few dollars is worth it in the long run. According to Shereen Lehman, MS, “Science suggests that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with having a healthier heart, a lower risk of cancer, better brain function, and longer life.” Protein and a balanced diet greatly affect your current and long-term health. The recommended fruit and vegetable servings for one day is a ½-1 cup. To hold yourself accountable, make sure you have healthy snacks. You are less likely to eat out and spend money if you have fruits and vegetables set aside to snack on. Skip the late-night Taco Bell runs; your stomach and bank account will thank you for it!
- Avoid Snacking, Binge Eating, or Skipping Meals
When stressed, it is very easy to skip meals. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It sets you up for a healthy and productive day. According to the journal The Health Site, skipping meals “changes your blood sugar levels, affects your mood and concentration, alters your metabolism, increases your risk of dia1betes, lowers your nutritional intake, affects your blood pressure, [and] causes indigestion problems.” If these reasons are not enough to change your diet, look at the countless number of saturated fats and trans fats in fast foods and snack foods from food chains. When you are running late, grab an apple and make some toast, don’t skip your meal.
- Practice Good Health Hygiene
As repetitive as this may sound, in the fall, germs are on the loose and good health hygiene is a sound way to prevent getting sick. On college campus’ where students are in small confined spaces, it can be very easy to catch what is going around. With beautiful fall leaves and crisp air, common colds and the flu are likely to circulate. To prevent yourself from catching a cold or illness, cough and sneeze into a tissue or your arm and wash your hands for 20 seconds under warm water after going outside, eating, sneezing, coughing, or going to the bathroom.
- Know Your Symptoms
Since it is cold and flu season, own how you feel. Do not dismiss feeling sick if you have symptoms of a cold. By avoiding seeing a doctor, you may be putting yourself and others at risk of becoming sick. If you feel like you might be catching some sort of cold, stop by the health center. It is completely free!
- Avoid Binge Drinking and Smoking
In college, many students are exposed to different kinds of alcohol and drugs. While many Duhawks are over 21-years-old, that does not diminish the risks that come with those pastimes. If you decide to drink or smoke, do not binge these substances. While using them in the first place is not beneficial to health, excess use will cause long-term health issues along with temporary problems. Be careful, Duhawks!
- Listen to Music
Talking time out of your day to listen to your favorite artist can work wonders for your mood and long-term health. Studies show that music (that one likes) can work to improve one’s overall mood. So, next time you are feeling stressed, turn on your favorite album, whether it be the Beach Boys, Post Malone, or Green Day!
- Practice Good Stress-Coping
College is very stressful. Sometimes, you need to take a minute to gain your bearings and keep yourself collected. If you feel your heart beating a little faster, try some simple breathing methods. Coping methods are shown to improve anxiety and your overall mood, so relax and take a deep breath!
- Hang Out with Your Friends
As college students, especially those at Loras College, we tend to overcommit to activities and schoolwork. While schoolwork and activities you are involved with come first, you should make sure you have time for yourself. Also, make sure you are healthy and happy. You need to make sure you are socializing and frequently catching up with friends. As humans, we are social creatures. Make sure you take as many opportunities, within reason, to spend time with those you love. Next time you are invited to go spend time with people, say yes.
- Explore the Area Around You
For many of us, this campus is new and this is a new city. If you have free time, invite friends and go exploring, you never know what you might discover! There are many landmarks, trails, and recreational areas in the Tri-State area. Go try something new!