Creating Good Procedures
All new experiences, opportunities and expectations can be a positive part of a student’s life. However, sometimes it can be difficult to get the balance just right. You can feel fragmented with simply too many things going on at once. You might feel as if your brain is exploding and it is difficult to unwind.
It might help if you see your studies as a job with a clear start and finish. It is then usually easier to understand your need for healthy food, exercise and sleep. If you manage to do so it will be easier to unwind during your leisure time and to be able to relax with a good conscience.
Schedule Your Study Days
It is a good idea to create a study planner in order to avoid postponing things. Enter your lectures/seminars, your own study time, time for socializing, physical activity and so on.
Think in terms of "I will", " I can" or "I want". It is natural to feel worried for major projects but try to divide the projects into shorter phases with milestones along the way.
Be Physically Active
Student life can mean inactivity with a lot of sitting down whilst studying. If you exercise regularly you will feel both fitter and stronger and have more energy.
Take a walk at daytime, use the stairs instead of the elevator, make it a habit to walk or cycle everywhere, get up now and then if you sit a lot by the computer, get off the bus one station earlier and walk the last bit. Simple but effective advice.
Remember that the best exercise is the one that gets done!
Your diet is very important for your health, strength and energy. With bad eating habits you will get tired, distracted and your body will be low in energy. You will get all nutrition and energy you need from carbohydrates, fats, protein, water, vitamins and minerals.
Eat regularly - three main meals and two to three snacks (like a fruit and/or a sandwich) every day.
Use the plate model when eating: 1/3 of carbohydrates, 1/3 of protein and 1/3 of vegetables. This is a simple and useful advice.
Start off by purchasing good and cheap groceries. If you have a good basic supply at home you usually do not have to shop as often and you can quickly make lunch or dinner.
Take a few hours one day a week for planning, shopping and preparing for the coming week. It will save you much time and money. When you cook make several portions at the same time and you will get lunch boxes out of it as well!
It is easier to handle stress during the day if you sleep well at night. Sleep is necessary for memory storage and therefore it is very important to sleep well when you are studying and learning new things.
Consequently, it is not a good idea to sleep just to have time to do more or to study more. An adult needs 6-8 hours of sleep per night. A quiet, dark and cold bedroom makes it easier to fall asleep.
As a student you might be invited to a lot of parties where alcohol plays a big part. Make sure you have control over your alcohol intake. People tolerate alcohol differently so know your own limit and do not get tempted to drink more just because others are doing it.
Dare to say no since it is you who decide how the party shall turn out for you, not your friends nor the alcohol. Do not fall victim to peer pressure! Try alcohol-free options as non-alcoholic beer, wine and cocktails.
Take Time to Relax
It is a very good investment in yourself to practice relaxation regularly. Walking around with tensed muscles can lead to fatigue, irritation and bad performance. Muscles strained for a long time can develop everything from headaches to back pain.
Advice for a Short Whole Body Relaxation
• Lie comfortably and take a few deep breaths through your nose and let your stomach settle.
• Hold your breath and tighten your entire body at the same time, from the toes to the face, and lift the head, legs and arms a few millimeters from the floor.
• Hold the tension and continue to hold your breath for ten to fifteen seconds or longer if it feels comfortable.
• Let out an explosive exhale through your mouth and let your body fall back down to the floor/bed. Lie still for a moment and let your breathing become normal and feel that the body relaxes.
Repeat the exercise a couple of times.
As a student you might miss family and old friends but it can be positive and exciting to meet new friends as well. Having friends is important for us to feel secure and it gives us happiness and fill us with new energy. So find friends that you enjoy being with and that gives you a lot of joy!