Living a healthy lifestyle can be difficult, especially when you have so many obligations to worry about such as class, homework, club meetings, work, family, and friends. Making your health a priority is so important, though, especially because a healthy lifestyle can help you succeed academically. It might seem overwhelming at first, but implementing a few of the following methods each week can help you feel better and live healthier.

1. Exercise

Everyone knows that physical activity is important for a healthy body, but did you also know that it helps brain function? Exercise can be as simple as taking a yoga class, going for a walk, jogging around campus, or visiting the gym a few times a week.

If you are not used to working out very often, start out slow by exercising in half-hour intervals two or three times a week. You can increase your weekly exercise as you start to feel more comfortable.

There are plenty of gyms and recreation centers around campus where you can sign up for classes or work out. Membership for students is free! Take a few different classes to see what you like.

2. Eat Healthy Foods

Eating healthy can be especially difficult when you are limited to the options offered in the dining halls. However, the dining halls have some very healthy choices! It’s all about learning how to make the right choices and avoiding items that you know aren’t good for you.

Make sure to eat every meal. Lots of students skip breakfast because they are either too tired to eat or in a rush to get to class. This is not good! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and a nutritious breakfast will provide you with the energy to stay focused throughout the day.

Try keeping healthy snacks in your room, like dried fruits, nuts, and yogurt. If you don’t buy unhealthy foods, you won’t be tempted to eat them.

3. Drink Plenty of Water

Water is so good for you! Carry a reusable water bottle around campus with you and use the many filtered water stations to fill up throughout the day. If you find water to be bland, spice it up by making your own flavored water with fruits and veggies. This is a great alternative to fruit juices, soda, or store-bought flavored water that can be filled with lots of artificial sweeteners and other unnecessary ingredients.

4. Make Time for Self-care

This can be super difficult, especially when you have so much to do. Find something that you like to do that will allow you to relax and relieve some stress. Whether it’s yoga and meditation, spending time with friends, or taking a walk, a little bit of stress relief each day can go a long way.

Because of all our obligations as students, it is easy to get overwhelmed. It’s important to take care of both our physical and mental health so that we don’t suffer from burnout.

5. Get Enough Sleep

This is so important and I cannot stress this enough! While it is difficult to find time to sleep with so many projects and papers to get completed, practicing good time management skills will help you to get all of your assignments done in time for bed.

Without getting enough sleep, our brains cannot function properly. This can affect our ability to complete the simplest tasks, so we want to make sure that our brain is well-rested and ready to take on class work, homework assignments, and exams. I never pulled an all-nighter during college because I knew that by the next day, I wouldn’t be able to stay focused in class or work on any assignments. So, I had to practice time management to make sure I was getting enough sleep, and you can too!

While these steps are very simple, they can really go a long way in helping you to feel balanced, energized, and stress-free. Your health should always be a priority, and it is important to take good care of yourself so that you are feeling good and succeeding academically.