College Students: 5 Ways to Refresh Your Health Between Semesters
College can be a hectic time. Between taking a full course load of classes, being involved in student organizations and squeezing in other extra-curricular activities, finding time to focus on your health can seem nearly impossible. That’s one reason why, if you’re in college, you’re probably looking forward to that much needed post-final-exam break during December and January. Not only is this a chance for you to put down the textbooks and hang out with friends and family, but it’s also the perfect time to recharge your mind and body so you’re ready to hit the ground running when the next semester starts. Here are five simple ways to do just that:
- Get your sleep on track: Throughout the semester, you probably pulled a few all-nighters to study for exams or stayed up a little too late on weekends. That kind of all-over-the-place sleep pattern can make it hard to get quality shut-eye and really feel rested. Over break, try to get your body back on a good circadian rhythm. Go to bed around the same time each night, wake up around the same time each morning, and limit your daytime naps to 20 minutes.
- Exercise: The craziness of college life can make it difficult to fit in time to work out, but staying active is important if you want to keep your body in good health. There’s also a mental benefit: Exercise increases endorphins, which boost your mood and energy. Physical activity can also help you fall asleep faster and have a deeper night’s sleep. To get motivated to work out this winter, try a short and intense HIIT workout or treat yourself to new workout gear.
- Do things you love: Spending time doing something you’re passionate about can leave you feeling refreshed and happy. And winter break is the perfect time to revisit a favorite hobby. Set aside one or two hours a day to do something fun you normally don’t have time for during the semester. Head to an indoor rock climbing gym, go cross country skiing or check out a nearby museum for a dose of culture.
- Eat ALL of your meals: Most college students are guilty of skipping meals every now and then, or even having a late-night pizza binge. Over break, try to get back to a normal eating schedule that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating breakfast has been shown to improve energy levels throughout the day, boost memory and reduce weight. And the regular meals will fuel your body so you can tackle whatever the day throws at you. Make sure to include a variety of food groups, including lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates and heart-healthy fats throughout the day.
- Get relaxed: Use your wide-open schedule to try some basic stress-relieving techniques, like meditation, yoga or deep breathing. You can also try some of these DIY home spa ideas to rejuvenate. Then when you head back to school, you’ll have some tools at your disposal when stress hits.
If you have a good way to relax and recharge, let us know below!
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