This is for all my students out there struggling to keep that work, uni, life balance in check. I hear you loud and clear! Uni is a time where a lot of people experience weight gain, which can be put down to a lack of exercise, sleep and poor nutrition. This is a longer post, but stay with me you’re about to be hit with some serious knowledge. While I have written this for students, these tips can definitely be used for full-time workers, or just people with a lot on their plate! Happy Reading!
Our emotions play a major role in how we go about our days, especially, what we choose to eat. University/college can often be an overwhelming experience, especially when exam time comes around. Stress, anger, frustration even sadness are emotions that I and I’m sure many others experience when it comes to uni. This can often lead to ‘emotional eating’, which may come in the form of binge eating or constantly ‘grazing’ without stopping throughout the day. Instead of using food as a source of release, go for a walk, chat with a friend and try to remove yourself from the situation. Have a little anger fit in the corner too, that generally works for me!
Keep Your Meals Balanced
Thankfully, I don’t live on campus, I still live at home with my parents (thanks mum and dad you rock!!) which means I have the ability to cook and eat my own food. If you don’t live on campus, I definitely recommend heading to uni/college with your own packed lunch. Not only does it mean you have complete control over what you’re eating, you’ll also save a TON of money, that campus food ain’t cheap! If you do live on campus, don’t sweat it, just go for the best options you can. Try to stick to fruits, veggies, proteins and wholesome fats. Keep the super oily, fried and heavily processed food to a minimum… I’m not saying you ‘can’t’ have it, restricting yourself is definitely not what I’m saying, just eat mostly nutrient dense foods, with a bit of ‘soul’ food on the side! Raw vegan desserts and loving earth/pana chocolate you’re always welcome here.
Fit Your Workouts In
Exercising is a major stress relief for me, not only this but it really helps me get focused and in the zone. Fitting workouts in can be super difficult when you’re studying but there are multiple ways you can get around it!
Get it Done Early
If you know you have a full day of study ahead of you get your exercise done early. Yes I know getting up earlier can really suck. But as someone who used to leave the house at 5.15am, to get to the gym at 6am, workout, shower, then drive to uni, to be sitting at an 8am lecture with breakfast and coffee in hand – I can tell you it’s worth it! Knowing you’ve already smashed out your workout for the day is really rewarding, and means you’ve got ALL day to study!
Schedule in a ‘Study Break’
Plan out what you’re going to be studying for the day, then schedule in an hour study break and fit that workout in! Giving yourself a whole hour means you’re giving yourself time to get organised, get freshened up afterwards and make yourself a post-workout snack!
If you really don’t have the time to fit a workout in, aka you’ve got an assignment due tomorrow and you’re only just reading the guidelines, then do mini bursts! You do your best work when you study in 60-90 minute blocks, with 10 minute breaks in between. Use at least 5 of that to get your body moving. Think short sharp exercises that require minimal space. Star jumps, burpees, push ups, running on the spot, followed by light stretching, bending and moving your joints.
I have said this SO many times, but planning out your days, weeks, months will make life so much easier. This is especially true as a student, planning out when things are due, exam dates and prioritising your study, will keep your stress levels as bay. Use this to plan when you can fit workouts in, and when you can have a social life! Having balance is the most important thing to have while studying. Be realistic with your plan, and don’t try to fit too many things in. It’s ok to say no!