Stress is a reality of modern life, and if we don’t take steps to manage it, multiple components of our health can decline.
In the television series “Parks and Recreation,” some of the characters designate one day each year to “treat yo self” in which they do any and all activities they enjoy. Jam-packing everything you love into one day each year is unrealistic, but the mindset of treating yourself in little ways throughout the week can be beneficial to maintaining balance in your life and improving your wellbeing.
Find a workout that you enjoy
Sometimes exercising can seem like another activity you have to squeeze into your schedule, but it doesn’t have to be a hassle if it’s something you look forward to. If you find a workout that is fun, you can burn calories and relieve stress among many other benefits to your physical and mental health. There are lots of fitness classes on campus like Zumba, spin and yoga that are great options, or you can take a scenic jog on the Reynolda Trail or around campus — just do a workout that you enjoy.
Spend time outside
Being outside is great for your overall health and is sometimes referred to as “green therapy.” In an article for “Medical Daily,” Lecia Bushak states several benefits of spending time outdoors: “reconnecting with green can help lift depression, improve energy and boost overall well-being and mental health.” When you’ve locked yourself in the library for hours or are feeling particularly overwhelmed, take a break with a walk outside. It may not seem like much, but frequently inhaling some fresh air and simply being outdoors are important to staying healthy and happy.
Be mindful and present
Many of us have heard the term “mindfulness” tossed around, but it can play a key role in improving our efficiency and health. Mindfulness is being aware of and focusing on your actions. It’s all about living in the now. When you sit down to do your homework, put your phone away and try to be fully present and engage with what’s right in front of you. When you’re choosing what to have for breakfast, think about the energy your body needs for a productive day. Mindful living applies to all areas of life and can positively affect us in numerous ways.
Make sure you get quality sleep
Oftentimes, the most underutilized tool for college students is sleep. It’s obvious; yet, so many of us think a few extra shots of espresso in our coffee are enough to make it through the day. Unless you have a huge paper or exam due in the next few days, set a bedtime for yourself and stick to it. If you prioritize getting quality sleep most nights, your days will be much better. You’ll thank yourself now and later.
Take time for yourself
Whether you like playing video games or listening to Spotify while you look at cute clothes on Pinterest, set aside time to unwind from the week. Do something that is just for fun. Calendars fill up and stress levels rise, but don’t forget to treat yourself.