Tips to Stay Healthy and Happy in University (And General Life)

1510/16

Today’s Morning Mantra!
“Stars can’t shine without darkness” ~Anon

Now that it’s the weekend I’m enjoying some nice downtime to recuperate before classes. Friday we went rock pooling to study rock pool species and I was so tired from it I, sadly, fell asleep in my next lecture (sorry professor…I tried to stay awake) and was pretty much bed-bound for the rest of the day after causing my foot to bruise and inflame. I seem to get injured a lot, huh? Only my luck. But today has been pleasantly  busy and productive as I went shopping (my arm workout have been working as I carried four bags on one shoulder! new record!) and made a plan for tomorrow so I can be even more productive since today was mostly a relax and repair day ready for tomorrow.

I want to talk about how I’ve been dealing with ‘adulting’ I call every adulting at the moment, shopping, paying rent, cleaning, anything mildly domestic. I wanted to offer some tips and tricks with these things that can make life a lot easier, especially for students.

1.Pick a cleaning day, preferably a weekend day or a day you have off to do all of your domestic cleaning. I pick Friday evening and Saturday to clean, shop, wash clothes, iron, make lists and prepare for the coming week. I also have my pamper evening on a Saturday to recuperate after a hard week in lectures, this consists of a long hot shower, face mask, pedicure and manicure and general self care like watching feel-good films and browsing the internet. Since I work pretty consistently over the week I like to give myself a day to properly take care of my physical and mental health and enjoy some time to myself. I recommend doing this, especially on especially difficult or physical courses to heal and avoid mental exhaustion.

2.Schedule regular breaks and try to balance work and rest. One thing I find myself doing, or not doing, when I’m stuck into my work is that I often forget to drink and eat and rarely get up from my desk and I end up with aching joints and sickness. I have a pretty bad immune system anyway since moving and find I get sick really easily and often so I’ve had to take better care of myself while I work. I tend to have two drinks with me at any one time, a large sports bottle of water and a cup of juice. I take breaks every hour or hour and a half to get another drink and I have to finish off my current bottle of water by this time. I also keep snacks by my side, usually leftovers from my previous meal and either fruit or a more sugary and substantial snack like biscuits, popcorn or some sneaky chocolate. Also try to organize regular breaks to get up and move a bit,  I lift weights and do yoga on an evening to ease my muscles and avoid back pain (which I get a lot of from sitting to work) I’d suggest a break around every hour so you can maintain focus on work and process your work in your mind so you don’t get confused, drained or distracted.

3.Be mindful about money and future plans. Always plan for the worst, be sure to save money, be careful with spending and plan ahead especially if you’re having to move for university or if there’s a lot of physical work in your course. You never know when you’ll need to buy equipment or if you need a bit of extra money one month to pay for extra rent, shopping, travel costs or an emergency. I’ve found a lot of my friends don’t really have saving plans but I’ve already had to dip into my savings a couple of times since my student funding has been late. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in terms of costs and if you have to travel home it’s always good to start saving early so you can be sure you can make it home when you plan to. At the same time, don’t deny yourself the occasional treat, you’ll quickly start to appreciate the little things like that bar of chocolate you guiltily bought or that slightly more expensive cereal that you love.

4.Take your time, don’t worry about how others are doing. Pace yourself and experience things at your own pace, whether this means relying on others that little bit more if your anxious to do things for the first time or if you need a bit more time to adjust, no-ones judging you and in fact the more honest you are with yourself the more respect you get for trying. A lot of people are also experiencing these things for the first time so it’s ok to ask for help or just for a bit of support from your friends . Do things in a way that is comfortable for you and don’t rush yourself, the only person who is judging you is most likely yourself so it’s totally fine to give yourself and break and support yourself as you start to adjust to the new things.

Anyway this was a short list of the main points you should consider, especially when moving for the first time and I hope it helped somewhat.

Be happy, healthy and hopeful
~AJ

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