It’s a new school year and we’re glad you are taking an interest in your wellness! But wait, this year is looking a little different than what we’re used to due to the pandemic. The good news is you’re not alone, and even with this new normal, it doesn’t mean you can’t get back some normalcy in your life.
Whether you’re taking online classes or showing up in person, here are some wellness tips to stay on track:
Set a Schedule
Many of our back to school schedule means staying home more. Although logging on for your 8 AM lecture sounds like a fun and relaxed way to go about your day, it’s easy to lose the structure we unknowingly crave in our everyday life. So it’s up to us to structure our day!
Allot different activities or to-dos throughout the week, e.g. classes are primarily Mon, Wed and Thurs, and workdays are Sat and Sun. Don’t forget to pencil in a few hours for R&R!
E-calendars are sorta inevitable in the 21st century, and if you’ve casually used it in the past, now is the time to master it. Use e-calendars such as Outlook or Google to set up your school year. Set appointments for activities like “30-minute bodyweight workout” or “meet with an academic advisor.” Scheduling what you need or want to do provides structure and cures boredom.
Visibly see your to-dos
Do you have tasks, projects, or deadlines to meet? Or do you have a motto, goal, or mantra that propels you into productivity? Write down your intentions and/or tasks on a whiteboard, planner, large sticky notes, or wallpaper chalkboard—your accountability increases when you can visibly see your to-dos.
Start Your Day Earlier
This wellness tip can be easier said than done. Hitting the snooze button is second nature to many of us especially when you know you’re staying home and studying for the day. Try this trick: place your phone or alarm on the other side of the room, so you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off. Give yourself an extra 30 minutes in the morning to get ready or get a quick workout in.
Work it Out
Speaking of working out, pencil in workouts throughout the week. If you need accountability, join the fitness center, or if you prefer a more structure routine, we offer virtual group exercise classes. Even a quick 10-minute workout can help relieve stress, re-energize your body, and normalize your sleeping patterns.
When the busy school mode starts to set in, our food choices tend to suffer. But, cooking and eating a healthy meal is not that daunting. Set aside a few hours once a week to prepare meals for your upcoming week.
Slow cookers and one-sheet pan meals are an easy way to bulk-prep for the week. For example, a few chicken breasts and one can of salsa verde in the slow cooker for 4 hours makes the best-shredded chicken or add this sheet pan recipe to your meals’ rotation.
Stuck on what to make? Attend one of our 30-minute virtual cooking classes (every Tuesday!) for quick and healthy meal ideas.
A little bit of sun can boost your overall wellness. If you have a day where most or all of your classes are online, block off 30 minutes to head outside and take advantage of the 360 days of sunshine this state has to offer.
Daily sun exposure can boost vitamin D levels, which lowers stress, builds stronger bones and muscles, and strengthens the immune system. But don’t forget your sunscreen!
Going back to school is stressful, and it probably doesn’t help that 2020 added a pandemic on top of it. You may feel more overwhelmed than in a typical school year. That’s okay. We’ve never experienced something like this before, so it’s imperative to focus on your mental health.
Set aside time to read a book, take a bath, try any of our 7-minute mindfulness exercises, and disconnect from technology.
Take Mental Breaks
Hours of focusing on schoolwork can be taxing on the brain, especially if you have a “writer’s block” moment.
For every hour of work, set aside five minutes to stretch or clean up your space a little. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but enough to help you feel refreshed when you dive back into your schoolwork.
Don’t take sleep for granted! Sleeping allows your body enough rest and recovery to energize your day, especially when your schedule becomes full. Make it a habit to go to bed and wake up every day at around the same time, so your body can get used to the new routine.
Give yourself grace as you adjust to your new schedule – it will get better with time. There’s so much uncertainty in the world right now, but following these back to school wellness tips will help. Cheers to a new school year – you’ve got this!
Please make sure to follow your school’s safety protocols, wear a mask, and practice social distancing!