The schedule of a college student is somewhat of a catch-22. On one hand you have the capability to design your own schedule and can create as much or as little free time as you want, while on the other hand, that free time is often swallowed up by the demands of your studies. It can be quite easy to push health and wellness off your to-do list and tell yourself that these are not critical list items, but you are doing yourself a disservice if you go that route. Instead of viewing health and wellness as another chore, change the narrative in your head and consider it a part of your dedication to being your best self. Once the verbiage is changed from ‘have to’ to ‘get to’ the chances that you will not only prioritize these choices but enjoy them as well.
Create a Network
Mental health in college students is a hot topic that especially since the pandemic has gained a significant bump in the amount of social focus dedicated to the issue. As a college student you are being pulled in many different directions and are likely having to manage your own life completely on your own for the first time. If you do not create a network of support for yourself the feeling of isolation can strike quickly and not only is that damaging to your mental health, but it can domino down to your studies, relationships, and lifestyle as well.
Telehealth is a great resource for students to seek support for their mental health in higher education stages of life. The virtual design gives students access to hundreds if not thousands of medical professionals with no logistical barriers. Mental health counseling does now always have to happen on the tail end of a crisis either. Instead consider adding in a counseling session to your standard wellness routine as a preventative effort to keep your mind and emotions sound and supported.
Care About Your Diet
The diet of a college student has become somewhat of a social pun. Late night pizza, cheap Ramen noodles three times a week, and sneaking an extra cafeteria roll into your backpack are all food habits associated with student life. While you may not have the desire, or resources, to prepare every single meal and snack in the most healthful fashion, you should care about what you are eating, more than you do not care.
Figure out a diet plan that feels like a healthy balance of nutrition and fun, for you and your life. It is unrealistic to tell yourself that you will never eat pizza so instead of getting into a pattern of restriction then punishment, opt for an eating plan that allows for pizza but as the exception not the rule.
Break a Sweat
Fitting exercise into a collegiate schedule might seem impossible, but it deserves your consideration. Breaking a sweat a few times a week is a sure-fire way to improve not only your wellness, but your mood, critical thinking skills, and overall body function as well. If you are someone who detests the gym, take advantage of opportunities like intermural sports to include exercise into your routine without resenting it. There are many common tips and tricks that you can access as well to optimize the work you are doing to focus on your fitness.