We want to ensure you’re taking care of your health in every way which is why it’s important to keep your health in check. AC Hub surveyed Counselling and Health Services to find the best advice for maintaining your physical and mental health. Find out more here for tips to keep your body, mind and spirit in top health.
1. Get regular
Regular your timetable, your exams and assignments as well as your workspace at home. It can reduce anxiety (because you’ve been there) and can help avoid the stress-inducing “Wait, we’ve got a project due?” scenario. Go to the Time Management section of the Essential Study Skills website for examples and tools for making your weekly schedule, eliminating procrastination, and much more.
2. Take care eat healthy food
You probably have heard this before however, it’s vital to know your mood! Be sure to stay away from food items that are highly processed and already prepared and packaged (they are usually high in sugar and salt). It’s not likely that you’ll be able to completely eliminate the processed foods completely however, how about replacing processed foods with more fruits and vegetables every other day of the week?
Remember that drinking plenty of water is just as crucial, so keep an empty water bottle throughout the day to serve as an aid to remembering (and refill it frequently). Do you need help with your diet? Make an appointment with a dietitian at Health Services at the Ottawa campus. It’s completely absolutely free for everyone AC students!
3. Healthy is inexpensive and goes hand-in-hand with exercising
It’s a definite fact. You can join an exercise facility (like at the Fitness Zone on campus) or make YouTube online videos from home when you’re on a limited budget or prefer working in a group (there are a lot of free YouTube videos available online!).
You can also mix your social life with fitness by finding a fitness buddy and attending an exercise class with them (great to be accountable) or by using the fitness tracker, and then competing on “challenges,” or trying something that you’ve never tried previously (trampoline dodge-ball anyone?). In addition to “working out” though, you are able to make small, healthful decisions such as getting off the bus a stop earlier and cycling to work or school or using the stairs when you can.
4. Look for the moment you’re stressed.
Are you experiencing eye movements or a heart that beats faster or a skin rash from stress? Neglecting these signals could lead to more serious issues that include physical health issues (high blood pressure) and emotional problems (symptoms of depression or anxiety) as well as behavioural issues (social withdrawal, gambling or shopping with a flurry of enthusiasm).
If you recognize that you are likely to be stressed, you can devise strategies to manage those stressful circumstances. This might include learning how to vent your anger in a healthy and appropriate manner and telling no when you need to, balancing your schedule properly, or adding exercise into your routine to act to help relieve stress.
5. Build a solid network
They are crucial for those occasions when you’re required to get away from the everyday grind. A support system may consist of your family or friends as well as a counselor or coach or a member of a group and team or any else that can make you feel loved. Keep in mind that laughter can be an excellent stress reliever, therefore, make time for the people in your life that can make you feel happy. The more well-organized you are – see point 1 and #2 – and the better time you’ll get for them!
6. Rest well
For the majority of people, this is approximately eight uninterrupted hours per night. If you’re having a difficult to fall rest or stay rest, you should avoid sweets and caffeine during the evening. You could also practice ways to relax before bed like taking a hot bathtub, enjoying soothing music, or reading a book (not working) or practicing prayer or meditation.
Also, remember that darkness is essential to begin the process of producing melatonin which is a naturally-produced rest stimulant. The light coming from your laptop, phone, or television can decrease the production of melatonin when you are using these devices prior to going to bed, so you should have an end-of-day time. If you’re insensitive to sunlight, then you could purchase blackout curtains to keep out those morning light rays.
7. Practice sexual activity
Discuss your partner’s sexual history and ensure you’ve had a test so that you’re safe for yourself and the future partners you’ll be sharing with (you can schedule your appointment to see a medical professional through Health Services for routine testing). Discuss birth control. There are several options available, such as the pill patch, IUD and Nuvaring. (Some kinds of birth control are sold in Health Services for discounted rates Make an appointment with a physician through Health Services to find out more.) Utilize condoms to avoid pregnancy and protect yourself from sexually transmitted illnesses.
Keep in mind that condoms aren’t effective when they’re kept stored in your purse or pocket and you should use them each when you are having a sex. (Condoms are readily available – and at no cost! Condoms are free in Health Services and many other places on campus Don’t let the accessibility be the sole reason for not utilizing one).
8. Condense on breathing
When someone is upset or stressed, their breathing is often sluggish and sluggish. When you pay attention to the breath, the muscles loosen and blood pressure is reduced (it’s important to focus on this even if you’re not enjoying yourself). Are you interested in learning more? the Algonquin’s Ottawa campus has Mindfulness Meditation drop-in sessions which take place on Wednesdays.
There are also Clear Mind Meditation sessions that occur several times per week. Visit this Student Support Services event calendar for specific dates and times. You can also click here to find six breathing exercises that you can begin today to help relax you in only 10 or fewer minutes.
9. Lifestyle choices
These are the most basic that are important to remember wash your hands frequently and try not to touch your nose, eyes, and mouth after you’ve touched objects shared by others (think shopping carts or door handles). Eliminate or stop smoking (visit this site to learn more about Leave the Pack Behind website for more information, or contact Health Services about programs available at Algonquin).
Make sure you practice harm reduction when you consumption of substances – it can be as easy as drinking a glass of water when having a party, or mixing different substances. Visit the Umbrella Project for more info on harm reduction. Don’t search for your symptoms. Instead, talk with a nurse or a doctor at Health Services about how you’re experiencing and allow them to assist you.
10. Day to do good for yourself
Find out your favorite effects that make you feel happy, and schedule this activity into your day as you would for every other scheduled appointment. It could include taking your dog for a walk, playing on a team of sports or even knitting a scarf – you can think of it. Make sure you appreciate the little effects like the great catch you made in the game and the air fresh that fills your lungs while you go for a stroll. There’s a famous quote: “Enjoy the little effects in life, because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big effects.”