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Karlyn Kares #1 - How to stay healthy and happy in the winter

ONU student walking across campus in the winter snow. (photo/Trevor Jones)

ONU student walking across campus in the winter snow. (photo/Trevor Jones)

Ada seasons have begun to change and so have student moods. Once the sun starts setting earlier and the workload gets heavier, students mental and physical health can start to deteriorate. That deterioration makes it hard to focus on the important things like school, friends and most of all sleep.

Yes, physical health is the most focused on while attending college. From wellness programs to “healthy food" advertisements at Mac, your body health is the main focus. Mental health is an essential thing to focus on as well. It is easy to slip and not notice when mentally things are going downhill.

Strong mental health leads to stronger physical health and can help support students through the final cold weeks of the semester.

Every year it becomes the same conversation of going to the counseling center for help. That isn’t for every person, and I personally cope in different ways. I struggle with the same issues, so here are three tips that I find help beat those end of the semester blues.

Physical exercise

The mind and body is a 50/50 relationship, and when one feels good, the other follows. People shy away from the idea of physical exercise because it can be viewed as hard or time-consuming.

Exercise can be anything from a hard run, a light walk, or light stretching. Anything that gets the body moving while giving your brain a second away from the current stress will help lead to a relaxed mental state.

Getting up and moving can also stimulate creativity throughout the day which can lead to more productive and positive studying.

Sleep

Between deadlines, due dates and finals there is no time to even think about the idea of sleep. Finding yourself to be drained of energy each day but following the same patterns of late night and early mornings can take a toll on mental health.

On average college students sleep between 6-6.9 hours of sleep a night. That amount is considerably lower than the average amount of sleep a college student needs to receive (about 8+ each night).

Without the correct amount of sleep, students can feel groggy, unmotivated and it can even lead to depression and anxiety among students. Sleeping a proper amount can lead to less illness, positive attitudes and better performance throughout the day.

Turning off electronics

Keeping electronics in bed to study, watch movies, scroll through social media, etc. isn’t healthy at all. I am guilty of doing this daily by falling asleep writing papers in my bed.

Electronics cause blue light to be emitted off of them that can mess with melatonin and natural sleeping cycles in our brains. Having them in bed with us all of the time can cause a lot of problems since sleep is so important.

Having electronics in bed can also cause more stressing information that keeps the mind active not allowing the body and mind proper time to wind down. Swapping electronics for a good book or journaling can help your mind relax after a long day.

What are some of your tips to stay mentally healthy in the final weeks of school?

 

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