Thursday, February 28, 2013

Getting Started: Assess What's Working and What's Not

         Any time you want to make a change like this, you have to take note of what you are already doing, so that you can start making small changes that fit with your lifestyle rather than trying to make radical changes.  Trying to overhaul your routine is a nice idea, but I don't know many people that can stick with it for more than a couple of days, myself included.  

         So to begin, my first suggestion is to take a minute and get organized.  Look at your schedule, do you have it written out somewhere?  When you take the time to write out where you have to be each day, its easier to know when you have free time--you know that time you spend procrastinating your homework with Youtube videos, catching up on your favorite tv shows, and looking up gifs from the Oscars...or maybe that's just me.

         The important thing is to know where you have to be, and keep track of your deadlines, due dates, and reading for classes.  The unfortunate reality of it, is that if you don't keep track of everything in one place, you're likely to forget something.  If it hasn't happened to you yet, praise the gods, because just about every student I know has suffered from a selective memory and has pulled the all too notorious all-nighter to make up for it, which is really terrible for your body and your mind!  

         When I was a freshmen, sleep was the first thing to go whenever I found myself in a time crunch, but the reality of it is that you absolutely wreck yourself when you don't let yourself rest.  Your brain needs that downtime each night to be fresh for the next day, your body needs the time to regenerate.  If you don't sleep, you are more likely to get sick because you are compromising your immune system, and really, who has time to take a real sick day?  And you are prone to eating more when you don't get enough sleep because your trying to provide your body energy in the form extra calories it doesn't necessarily need.

          So, the first task in effort to better balance your life is this: make yourself a schedule.  I have friends that use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to schedule their classes and extra curriculars into hourly slots throughout their day to keep track of their free time.  I myself keep a similar schedule with my classes and work shifts blocked off each day throughout the week.  I hang it on my door each semester, partly so I can keep track of where I'm going each time I leave, and partly so my roommates know when to expect me to be around and can find me if I'm not.  A day planner is also very practical for students, but I like to keep mine in addition to a dry/erase calender above my desk so that I can easily see what's due and what's coming up.  Just some ideas--when you plan ahead, you don't have to sacrifice as much to keep up with school.  Happy Planning!

***Coming next: Take a Minute: De-stressing in College

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Challenge

I was inspired to write this blog when I stumbled across the MindBodySoul challenge on Twitter--a 90 day challenge that evaluates the good things you do for your mind, body, and soul each day, and encourages you to improve your health in each of these three areas to maintain a healthy balance in life.  This challenge includes activities to improve fitness, recipes that promote balanced nutrition, ideas on how to get organized, new takes on meditation, and much much more!  My mission, as a college student is to seek out and develop strategies that students can incorporate into their routine to help re-establish a new balance for this new phase of life..