With over 45% of students experiencing higher than average levels of stress, it’s safe to say that being a student can take a toll on your health — both mentally and physically.
It’s easy to neglect your health when you have studying and exams to focus on. College is drilled into students’ brains as one of the most important times of your life, and everything else tends to fall by the wayside.
However, if you want to do well — and keep living your best life — it’s important to think about student health. Here are some ways to keep on top of it.
1. Get Good Sleep
You might think that studying in college means wildly out-of-sync sleeping patterns, staying up all night to study for exams and maintain your social life, and just accepting that you’ll never know an early night again.
However, it’s important to find balance in this area! Sleep can seriously affect your health — both physically and mentally — and the less sleep you get, the more stressed you’re likely to be.
While a few nights of some missed sleep here and there are likely, try to make sure you’re getting as much as you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. How much you actually need differs by person, but eight hours is a good rule of thumb.
2. See a Doctor and Dentist
Appointments might start to fall by the wayside, but one of the best health tips for students is to keep up with them — especially your doctor and dentist.
Regular teeth cleaning will save you from needing a more intense and more expensive cleaning when everything has calmed down in your college life. Doctor check-ups will help keep health problems at bay, particularly if you’re feeling stressed.
Keep up with appointments, and your future self will thank you!
3. Eat Balanced Meals
You might just assume that health and wellness for students is nigh impossible when it comes to eating. Most students live on microwave food and takeout, but this can seriously contribute to bad health.
Although the occasional takeout or microwave meal is fine, getting some healthy meals in will really help. You can cook meals in bulk and freeze them, or get a subscription service that delivers meals to your door.
This is the one that most students tend to forget, but it’s also one of the most important tips for college student health.
4. Don’t Overdo the Coffee and Energy Drinks
Too much coffee can impact you if you’re drinking it to stay awake, but energy drinks can be even worse. While you should never drink either in abundance — especially not for the aim of staying up late and missing sleep — energy drinks can be dangerous.
Not only do they have adverse health effects, but they’ll also make you binge drink more and you can even end up in the emergency room.
They’re not just unhealthy to drink, they’re unsafe if you drink a lot of them. If you are prone to the occasional energy drink, kick the habit, or at least lessen it to very few occasions.
5. Take Study Breaks
One of the best mental health tips you can get in college is to take study breaks.
You might get consumed by your books and notes when an exam is coming up, and it’s always good to put hard work in. However, you should do a few things while studying — and one of those is to take a break every now and again.
Walk away from your screen, hydrate yourself, have a snack, take a walk — whatever you need. It’s also been proven that taking frequent breaks increases productivity, so not only is it beneficial to your health, but it’ll help you do better in whatever you’re studying for.
6. Practice Self-Care
You should always practice self-care and be kind to yourself — whatever that means to you.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall behind or fail an exam — just improve for next time. Go easy on yourself and keep up with all the usual things like basic hygiene, a skincare routine, a massage if there are knots in your back — whatever it is that you need!
Self-care means something different to everyone, but whatever it is, you should take the time for yourself. Even if it’s just ten minutes of meditation in the morning, it will help.
7. Surround Yourself With Good People
Surrounding yourself with toxic people and bad influences is one of the fastest ways to see your health damaged in college. Whether it’s people who think you should be studying every minute of the day and judge you for taking breaks, or people who encourage you to stay up until 6 am drinking every night — there are two extremes, and neither is great.
Make sure you surround yourself with people who have a good balance and encourage you to as well. Supportive friends will make all the difference to your college experience and mental health.
Student Health Is Often Forgotten, but Important
Student health is often forgotten. The emphasis is placed on exams and doing well, meaning students forget to take care of their health — both mental and physical.
The truth is, health is the most important thing — even in college! Make sure you avoid guzzling energy drinks, try to eat decent food every once in a while, and practice activities that keep your mental health in good spirits.
Not only will that see you through college, but it’ll also help you thrive in your exams and coursework too.
For more lifestyle tips and other advice, check out the rest of our site.