One of the biggest reasons people give for not living the healthy lifestyle they want is probably that they don’t have the time or it’s too hard to balance. Especially college students who are busy worrying about classes, internships/jobs, extracurricular activities, being social and the stress that comes with all of that. Well with that, I have good news and bad news. Bad news is yes living, maintaining and balancing a healthy lifestyle does take work and time. BUT, living and being healthy can and will actually help you deal with stress, and live a generally happier, less-stress free life (or at least you will be able to handle the stress better).
First off, let’s talk about what exactly healthy living is. It’s going to mean different things to different people depending on their situation.For example, healthy living to a collegiate athlete like myself means eating the right type and amount of foods to nourish and fuel my body for workouts (5 days a week) and games, drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, getting enough sleep and taking care of my body to be able to perform my best. However, for someone else in college, healthy may mean exercising 2 times a week and cutting down on junk food. The point is that it’s all subjective. And that’s okay! The tips and tricks for balancing it is still the same. The important keyword is balance.
So, as I mentioned before living a healthy lifestyle while being busy does take time and effort. But what doesn’t these days? If you want to ace that test or your paper, it’s going to take time and effort. If you want to have quality relationships, it’s going to take time and effort. If you want to be physically faster or stronger, it’s going to take time and effort. Okay, you get the idea right? If you want to do something well and it’s important to you, it’s going to take your time and your effort. But, if it truly is important to you, then it shouldn’t; matter; you should be wanting to do so. And if you don’t want to make the time to balance healthy living, then be honest with yourself that it isn’t that important to you and don’t focus on it. The good news is that you’re used to putting in the work and the hours with other stuff, so now it’s all about switching it to put focus on living a healthy lifestyle.
It definitely is a balancing act, but it can be done! And the benefits are so great that it’ll be worth it. Living a healthier life whether that means eating better, sleeping more, drinking more water, exercising regularly, being positive, etc. will all help improve your life and the way you handle stress. Exercise can be a great stress reliever and a way to get all those emotions and feelings out and just focus on getting better and stronger. Also, accomplishing the different aspects of your healthy lifestyle (such as eating better, drinking more water, moving more, sleeping more, etc.) will give you more energy and overall make you feel better, in general.
To do this, you don’t have to completely carve up another separate hour of your time either. You can study or read while exercising. Another way is to split up your workout, do 10 minutes here, 10 minutes later, etc. The point is that you are making the time that you can. Or instead of having your study break be social media or other stuff, just take a 20-30 minute study break and pump it out at the gym. If you have to binge watch the 5th season of that show on Netflix, you have time to make it to the gym (heck you can even exercise while watching it)– it’s all about priorities.
Same thing goes with eating healthier. Sure dining hall food isn’t the healthiest, but there are some good options. For example, make a salad or a sandwich rather than grabbing the fries and burgers. Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast (here are some quick and easy ideas) and plan ahead to pack healthy snacks for yourself. Sure there will be some times where you are stuck in a situations where there are very few if any healthy options, and that’s okay! Healthy doesn’t mean being strict and 100% perfect. It just means planning and preparing to the best of your ability (even if you’re on-the-go) and then dealing with whatever else comes your way. Still make time to enjoy yourself whether that be a dessert, staying out late and skipping an early morning workout, etc., but ensure that balancing a healthy lifestyle amongst everything else is a priority for you.
Find a way of healthy living that you love and that makes you happy, and then make the time to do everything you can to make it happen. I promise you, you’ll be glad you did!