I present you all with the constant problem us uni students face each and every day…
Our busy selves glare at the chocolate when all of a sudden it transforms into Pitbull singing “I know you want me”. Yet, when we look over at the apple, its song lyrics go something like “stay with me, ‘cos I’m all you neeeeed”, Sam Smith style.
Or is this just me?
Nonetheless, because keeping healthy while really busy is challenging, I have put together 8 tips to help maintain healthy habits and wellbeing during a full-on schedule…
- Plan meals in advance.
Take the time to plan what meals you will have during busy periods so that you can stock up your pantry and fridge with as many supplies possible. Not having to go grocery shopping and knowing what you are having each day helps prevent reverting to bad habits such as take-out because of time restrictions.
- Healthy snacks.
While planning in advance, stock up with healthy snacks that you can take with you to uni/work or that can sit beside your computer while you study. We all find ourselves eating for no valid reason when busy, so it’s probably best we fuel ourselves with nutritious foods. The snacks on my list include yoghurt, pieces of fruit, nuts, dried fruit, muesli bars, crackers and low fat dip. This is the only way I have learnt to overcome the chocolate VS apple debate, otherwise it’s so easy to let the chocolate win you over for a sugar hit!
- Stay hydrated.
Being a uni student often means sitting at the computer for hours on end during busy periods. All of the important things, like drinking enough water throughout the day, are easily forgotten unless you are dying of thirst. I have now learnt to have a water bottle beside my computer at all times to avoid one of those “out of sight, out of mind” scenarios.
- View exercise as a priority, not an option.
Talking from experience during busy times, exercise becomes something we “don’t have time” for. I have only recently begun to shake this bad habit after realising just how much better you feel after just 30 minutes of exercise a day. Whether it is a walk around the block, run on the treadmill while watching a lecture, Wii fit session, gym circuit or whatever else you would prefer, JUST DO IT!
- Get enough sleep.
I am no expert on this tip. When it comes to getting enough sleep when life is hectic, I am as guilty as they come. For some reason, I become a night owl with the idea that staying up until ungodly hours of the night will induce productive work. The downside to this notion of mine is that sometimes the only outcome of this decision is the awesome greeting when opening your Word document that says “pick up where you left off 6 hours ago (3.30am)”. It is probably most wise to remember the advice of health professionals, particularly when life is crazy, and aim for between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night to recuperate and allow the brain to function!
- Prepare frozen meals.
If you find yourself constantly busy, put aside some time on weekends to prepare meals that can be frozen. That way, during the week, it is just a matter of defrost, heat and eat! And the bonus is, it’s healthy!
- Bring your planned meals to uni/work.
Don’t let all your hard work go to waste. It is so easy to become tempted when out of the house to grab something naughty from the close-by cafeteria. This is avoided by taking your meals with you. P.S. Don’t forget the cutlery (advice from she who has done so)!
- Say no to stress in your life.
Try not to make extra work for yourself when life is busy. Although our world would be disadvantaged without “yes” people, sometimes we need to learn to say no. Don’t overload yourself and find time to relax! The last thing we want is to become sick at a time we can least afford to be!
Have you got any tips about staying healthy during hectic busy periods for me? I would love to hear them!