Staying Healthy in College

Staying healthy in college can be difficult.  Last month the Hope & Wellness Center lead efforts to raise awareness on campus regarding eating disorders as part Nation Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  Here are some thought provoking stats on that:edstat.jpg

Unlike many trends and fad diets will lead you to believe, a healthy diet is well rounded in all of the Macro nutrients.  In fact, the key to a healthy weight and even lasting weight loss is a diet balanced in macronutrients.  Lacie Glover gives 6 great reasons to eat healthy in her article here: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/health/medical-costs/benefits-of-eating-healthy/

foodOf course, we’ve all heard or been lectured on a nutritious diet.  With the many campus activities held each month, there is even a lot of opportunities to have great meals for free on campus! But what are other ways we, as students, can stay healthy?

Get enough sleep:

Dave Grossman, a Psychologist and Author, talks extensively about sleep and how our bodies need it and what happens when we don’t get enough.  Students often miss out on a lot of sleep.  Between extra curricular activities, hanging with friends, studying for that exam… or not being able to sleep out of anxious for that exam.  For a long time many believed that once missed, sleep could not be made up for.  Turns out, according to Dr. Grossman, that sleep does indeed have a “bank” that we can add into.  So don’t feel guilty for that nap you’re about to take in between classes!  In fact, according to our own Dr. Calvillo, sleep helps solidify what you just learned, transitioning it all into long-term memory!

(Here’s a great article on Dr. Dave Grossman’s work which is super interesting, especially for our large veteran population: https://www.stripes.com/seeking-better-sleep-1.133924#.WL5PHPnytPY )

Stay Mentally fit:

According to the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, in their annual survey of over 400 campuses, 40% of students experience clinical anxiety and nearly 40% are experiencing clinical depression.  An average of 25% of students take psychotropic medication, over 20% of students present to their college counseling services with severe mental health concerns and 40% with mild concerns.  What does all this mean?  College students might be especially susceptible to stressors and need to find ways to stay mentally healthy and fit and when they are struggling, students should know they aren’t alone in their struggles.  Here at CSUSM we have an excellent counseling center where students can seek one on one services, as well as have the opportunity to participate in group workshops and counseling sessions!

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a counselor, please call (760) 750-4915 or stop by SHCS.

Self- Care:

Taking a time-out to refresh your mind doesn’t have to be a big deal, expensive or time-consuming.  Some easy ways to practice self-care are: spending some time outside, even if that means just sitting to drink your morning cup of coffee, tea, juice, etc, or even enjoying lunch outside on the USU’s many available patios; spending a day without technology, or simply off of social media; getting quality sleep; drinking enough water; writing in a journal; or doing something creative.  It doesn’t matter what you do, the point is to treat yourself and  your body and mind well!

Click on one of the key components at this link to find self-care information, resources, exercises, and worksheets designed specifically for you: http://www.campusmindworks.org/students/self_care/

Have fun: 

Although having fun classifies as self-care, I think it deserves it’s own recognition!  College can be scary, especially if you attend college outside of the area you grew up or have lived-in for a while.  Making new friends can seem scary.  Thankfully CSUSM has an active campus with fun engagements you can enjoy both on and off campus.  Each center in the USU hosts their own informative and fun events and our Campus Activity board has incredible and affordable outings each semester!  We have programs that are inclusive and our community includes LGBTQ, Cultural and even Student-Parent diversity.

You can visit the CSUSM Activity Board calendar at: https://www.csusm.edu/usu/usuab/UpcomingEvents.html

Student juggle many hats, and often health and wellness falls to the side or is just completely forgotten about.  Don’t forget to take care of yourself so you can continue to be successful and active on your educational journey and in life!  To follow-up with more ideas and ways to stay healthy check out this awesome list:

101 Health and Wellness Tips for College Students

Written by:  Peer Intern Tabetha Camacho

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