Realistic changes you can make as a Notts student to live a healthier lifestyle
Your body is a temple
Sometimes it can feel like the student lifestyle is one of never ending partying. This can take a toll on our mental and physical well-being and it’s important to check in with how we feel.
The student life can be confusing at times with its lack of routine and this can be hard when trying to find normality and consistency in the everyday. But often it seems that the biggest results can stem from the smallest changes.
Implementing the following steps into your student lifestyle can help form new habits which can make a difference to your overall health. Here’s a realistic guide on how to lead a healthier uni lifestyle. You’ll never have felt so good!
A healthy sleep routine will do you wonders
One of the biggest factors that contributes to our overall health is sleep. Sleep is important because it enables the body to repair and allows us to feel ready to face another day. I think we can all appreciate what lack of sleep feels like.
Unfortunately, nights out can make it impossible to keep a healthy sleep routine but if you feel like you need an afternoon siesta, don’t feel guilty for hitting the hay. I’m a big advocate for napping.
Set boundaries on how often you go on nights out
Nourishing mind, body and spirit may seem a little incongruous when nursing a hangover but it’s easier than you may think. Showing up in your social life is important but setting boundaries for nights out can be a big help when it comes to finding balance in the week.
The NHS advises not to drink more than fourteen units a week on a regular basis and to spread drinking out. Limiting alcohol consumption can be challenging when peer pressure is involved but is necessary to avoid feeling burnt out.
When the hangxiety is fresh and ever present it can be easy to overthink. One way of quietening the mind is by looking for the evidence behind each anxious thought. This will help distinguish true thoughts from overthinking ones. Observing thoughts rather than reacting to them can also assist in finding inner calm. Like a cloud, everything will pass.
Find what feels good
There’s plenty on offer when it comes to extracurricular that can help us with some TLC. The Buddhist and Meditation Society meets on Monday evenings. For me, it’s a chance to sit for a moment and set intentions for the week.
The uni has a great Yoga Society too and it’s more than just holding a pose – it’s about finding space in your body and feeling good. On Thursday evenings I visit the Natural Wellness Centre on Derby Road and take a yoga class with Izzy from Loving Rebellion Yoga. That is, when I’m not hungover or absolutely knackered!
It’s got to be said as well that a lot of students have a part-time job to contend with too. When time is short, using any free time in a way that contributes to wellbeing is crucial. That may look like doing a meditation, reading a book, meeting a friend for a coffee, or laying in bed. Alone time is important and there’s nothing wrong in spending time to recharge in a quiet space somewhere. For me, there’s no place like home. It’s never selfish to put your mental and physical health first.
Let food be your medicine
Living off pot noodles and pesto pasta can hit the spot for many students but the food we eat has a major role in how we feel. The brain needs carbohydrates for energy and eating when our body tells us it’s hungry is important.
There’s plenty of eateries and cafés on and off campus to fuel ourselves throughout long days. Aiming for variety in diet can be hard when you’re a student. For me, smoothies are a great way to get in all five portions of fruit and veg. Using frozen fruit saves money too so swap the strawberry daiquiri for a fruit shake.
Get outside everyday
Sunlight is rare in the UK and we’re at a time of year where the great outdoors isn’t exactly enticing. However, getting that good old vitamin D is vital to our wellbeing. Sunlight helps support our immune system which is useful when it feels like there’s always something going around at uni. Taking a short walk can get the blood pumping and can increase exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Just remember to wear your sun cream.
Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do
One of the biggest challenges I’ve found being a student is being active and getting exercise in. I don’t long for the lockdown days where the nation was keeping fit with the Body Coach and I do need to renew my gym membership, but even doing a ten-minute Youtube HIIT workout can make a huge difference to how we feel in ourselves. Of course, in my mind clubbing is a high intensity workout. Eat, sleep, rave, repeat.
A healthy student lifestyle is much easier to adopt than initially thought. Making small changes and listening to what our body is telling us is key. Remember though that good things take time and the university lifestyle can pose hurdles to feeling good. We don’t have to juggle everything all at once. Focus on one aspect of how to feel better and take it each day at a time.
Related articles recommended by this author:
• I spent a week romantiscising my student life in Notts and this is how it went
• It can be hard at uni to say no to socialising, this is why alone time is so important
• We’ve officially spent over two years of uni alongside Covid, this is what it’s been like