How to Achieve a Balanced Lifestyle at University

Now that we are a month into the school year, you may be feeling a little more stressed as midterms approach. However, you can reduce stress if you stick to a plan that keeps both your mind and body fresh for when you need them most. The following are some tips for students seeking to live a balanced lifestyle:

Get enough sleep: This is probably one of the most important things you can do to ensure both your mind and body feel fresh. It is recommended that you get 8 hours of sleep every night, but that depends on who you are. Some people feel like they only need 6 hours to feel energized for the day, and some people feel like they need 10 hours, regardless, find the amount of sleep that works best for you. While the amount of time one sleeps may differ from person to person, the time one goes to bed is crucial. Dr. Matt Walker is the head of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at the University of California, and he states the time of day when you sleep drastically alters the structure and quality of your sleep. Individuals who consistently go to bed before midnight show higher sustained energy and attentiveness levels than those who do not. Sleep is very important to your health, so it is important to make it a priority. 

Eat a healthy diet: Eating a properly balanced diet can make you feel well, and powers your mind for when you need it. Ensuring you have a healthy diet starts by understanding when its important to eat. Breakfast should be the largest meal of your day as it will fuel you throughout the day. Instead of eating large portions, stick to having snacks spaced throughout the day. Avoid foods that make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly as you will become tired quickly. Drink enough fluids! People forget to stay hydrated and its very important to keep that in mind as failing to do so can alter your mind’s clarity. It is recommended that you drink between 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, and if you exercise regularly that number increases dramatically. As they say, “you are what you eat”, making it crucial to fill your body with healthy choices. 

Exercise Regularly: This is often the most difficult aspect students struggle to find time for. Exercising isn’t only about keeping your body fit, it also sharpens your mind. Exercising can be a significant time commitment, but you can avoid that by doing simple things everyday. Walking is one of the easiest ways to get consistent exercise. Make it a priority to always walk to where you are going. Additionally, spending 10 to 15 minutes in the morning to stretch or perform some light yoga is also an excellent way to get your body and mind engaged for the day without wasting a large amount of time. Lastly, make it fun! Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be exciting and something you look forward to. Whether that involves joining an intramural team or going for a hike with some friends, there are a lot of fun ways to make exercising enjoyable. 

Make a Schedule: School can become overwhelming at times, but planning can help alleviate those feelings. Buy an agenda or some other scheduling tool so you can write down important dates and deadlines to ensure you are completing your work on time. Not only do planners help you to finish work on time, but they help to establish a plan for how you can go about finishing your work to the best of your ability. Prioritizing is essential to performing at your best when studying and making a schedule can help with that. 

Take some ME Time: While performing well in your classes is important, you have to make sure that you are not overloading yourself. Taking on too much can run you down and make you less able to accomplish the things you want. Thus, taking time for yourself to relax and enjoy your surroundings is equally important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s hanging out with friends, or going for lunch with a buddy, taking time for yourself is essential to solidifying balance in your life. 

These are just some simple tips to keep in mind when trying to understand how to live a healthy balanced lifestyle. There are many other ways one can go about living a balanced lifestyle, but it’s important to recognize what that looks like for you. Understanding what works and doesn’t work for you is pivotal to fulfilling the healthy lifestyle so many of us desire. 

Sebastian Farkas is a fourth year honours politics student and Sports and Wellness Editor of the Athenaeum.