If you’re anything like me, you’re running around all week going to classes, your internship, working at your job, doing homework, working out, and trying to maintain some sort of social life. It’s a lot, I know! Some people do even more than that which is just insane. That’s how college is! Trying to complete all of these tasks can be overwhelming. You may have noticed there were a few things missing from the list mentioned above; eating, sleeping and self-care!
It’s VERY important to take care of yourself whenever life gets hectic. Sometimes, a few days will go by where my face is stuck in my planner and I’m really doing nothing else but schoolwork. At the end of that stretch of days, I take a look in the mirror and realize that I haven’t been taking care of myself. This could include not cooking myself quality meals, neglecting that random hangnail that’s been bothering me, and turning down my friends when they want to hang out. After I’ve made that realization, I’ll take the day or half the day (usually on the weekend) and take some time to do my nails, take a nice, hot shower, clean my room, spend some much needed time with friends, and try to get to bed a little earlier than usual.
You may be wondering why I haven’t mentioned anything about nutrition yet. Well, here it is! The worst thing, in my opinion, that I do when I’ve got a lot going on is neglecting to prepare myself actual meals. Sometimes if I happen to stop home in between my classes and/or meetings, I generally don’t have that much time and will grab something quick like an apple and a granola bar. While that seems like a healthy snack, it’s certainly not enough for a meal. I’m usually organized and plan ahead, so this is not always what happens. But when I do have an apple and a granola bar for lunch and then try to go about the rest of my day, I find myself unable to focus and sluggish.The moral of the story is that it’s much more beneficial to eat regular meals throughout your busy day than just small snacks, or worse, nothing. This will give you the fuel you need to get through the rest of the day and keep you focused in class or at the library. Your brain will thank you. If you struggle like I do to find time in the day to eat regular meals, here are a few tips to combat this:
- Plan ahead!
- If you live off campus, make your meals the night before a busy day and bring them with you to class, work, or the library.
- If you live on campus and know you won’t be able to make it to the dining hall for lunch, have the dining hall staff prepare you a bagged lunch at breakfast so that you can bring it to class with you. You can also get a bagged dinner made for you at lunch. It takes all of ten minutes, trust me!
- Pick a day on the weekend and do some light meal prepping. You don’t have to go all out, but you can make something in a large quantity and put the leftovers in the fridge. Some examples include pasta, salad, and chicken with brown rice and vegetables. Sometimes, I will even boil a bunch of potatoes so I can easily heat them up to add to my eggs at breakfast or with my salmon at dinner.
- If you live off campus, bring some extra cash with you to campus and check out any of the cafes located in the academic buildings. I have an 8 AM class in Shineman and I don’t always wake up early enough to make myself breakfast. If I did happen to miss breakfast, I’ll stop at Fusion on my way out of class and grab a multigrain bagel with cream cheese which costs under $3.00.
- Make sure you’re carrying around a water bottle throughout the day! Hydration also contributes to your level of focus. There’s nothing worse than being hungry and dehydrated!
Now, try to take this message and utilize these tips to make your busy days a little less daunting. Taking care of yourself goes a long way. I don’t always practice what I preach in these blog posts, but I try to! And when I’m able to wake up after a nice 8 hours of sleep, eat substantial, healthy meals throughout the day, and maybe hang out with my friends after the day is over, it makes my busy days not seem so busy after all.