Surviving College: How To Stay Healthy When You’re Away From Home

running-beachFor many people, going to college is the first time they’re leaving home for a period of time. When you’re at home, you have your parents there to take care of you. When you go to college, you have to take responsibility for your health. It can be tough to prioritize your health when there’s so much going on. But taking care of yourself is really important. Here are some simple tips to help you battle common ailments, and stay healthy when you’re away from home.

Eating well

Are you used to your mom’s home cooking? Is there a homemade meal on the table every night? If so, college can be a bit of a rude awakening. Cooking is a really useful skill to have in your locker, so try and get some tips before you leave home. If you’re not a culinary genius, don’t worry. There are hundreds of easy recipes online, and you can also buy books aimed at beginners. Once you get used to cooking, you’ll probably find that you enjoy it much more than you anticipated. Aim to create simple, healthy meals like pasta dishes, casseroles, soups, and salads. Good principles to stick to include hitting your 5-a-day target for fruit and vegetables and opting for whole grain foods like brown pasta and rice. Keep an eye on how much sugar and salt you add to your meals.

Seeking help

It’s important that you seek advice from a doctor if you feel unwell. It’s common to develop coughs colds, and stomach bugs when you go to college. But if you’re worried that you might have something more serious, it’s wise to see a professional so that you can get treatment. If you’re not sure where to find a doctor, sites like GetDoc can come in handy. Keep up to date with routine health checks, and see your dentist every 6-12 months.

Coping with stress

Stress is very common, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easily managed. If you’re struggling with stress, there’s no shame in asking for help. You might be finding it difficult being away from home. Or an assignment may be keeping you up at night. Talk to people close to you if you’re struggling with your emotions. If you’re finding work tough, speak to your tutors. They will often be able to come up with solutions. It’s also really important to make sure you get enough sleep, especially during the exam period. Exercise can also be a powerful remedy for stress. If you’ve had a bad day, take a walk, go for a run or do a yoga class.

Going away to college is a life-changing experience. You’ll meet new people, and no two days will be the same. With so much going on, it’s easy to forget about healthy living. But try and look after yourself. Eat a healthy and balanced diet, get enough rest, and try and manage stress. If you feel unwell or you’re struggling with stress or anxiety, seek advice. There are lots of people who will be more than happy to help you out.