How many articles do you see a day promoting healthy living? What about promoted posts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? The encouragement to eat right, exercise, take our vitamins and drink 8 glasses of water a day seems inescapable. As hard as we may try, we fall short most days.
Throughout my years in college, I have found that the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle is planning. I don’t mean “meal-prep,” (although if you love that, keep at it) however sticking to a schedule and allotting yourself time to decompress and maybe do some sit-ups.
I am no health freak; I don’t wake up at 5 a.m. and go to the gym (but kudos to those who do). I don’t have a calorie counter on my phone or even wear a pedometer. That aside, I do have a few regimen-y things I swear by that are both easy, efficient and help to keep me balanced. Here are a few of them:
Pack a water bottle: Between classes, stopping for meals and daylong library sessions, drinking water often skips our mind. Do yourself (and your body) a favor by packing a reusable water bottle to fill up during the day. Staying hydrated helps keep you focused and clear until you go to sleep at night (or early the next morning; I get it).
Bring a snack to school: I sound like your mom, I know, but keeping something healthy in your bag like cucumbers and hummus will stop you from buying chips at 2 p.m.. If you aren’t a hummus person then try celery and peanut butter or a handful of almonds; anything with a little protein will help to keep your cravings at bay and get you through to the next meal.
Green tea: Every once in a while, I have a very long conversation about the effects of green tea vs. coffee. The consensus among my friends and me is that while coffee helps us shake off the morning fog, green tea keeps us more focused and upbeat. If you have a lazy morning, try drinking green tea for long-lasting energy throughout the afternoon.
Eat a balanced dinner: I mean a protein, a starch and a vegetable. Some people do not eat breakfast most days and lunch sometimes lacks major food groups. Balance yourself out in the evening by filling the gaps from earlier in the day.
Decompress: Allowing yourself time at some point in the day is so, so vital to healthy living. One of the ways I decompress is shutting off my phone and watching a favorite TV show (after I text my mom and tell her I won’t be on my phone for an hour). Make yourself a snack (as seen in the photo up top) and force yourself to concentrate on being relaxed.
Grinding all day long is sometimes necessary, but there are ways to keep your spark alive while you hustle. If you can only integrate one of these tips into your everyday routine, you will find a noticeable difference in your mood and energy. With midterms coming up, you’re going to want to be charged up and on your game.