Choose Well(ness) for Your Body to Fuel Your Mind This Semester
Heading back to school, a checklist helps to get you back into the swing of things. The coordination of lectures, lab classes, the purchase of syllabus essentials – books and binders, scheduling needs, extra-curricular and social activities, requires meticulous planning.
There is a less obvious but equally vital To–Do list, which may very positively influence your performance every day of this brand new school semester. That is, to cultivate a personal wellness routine. What is wellness? According to the Health and Counseling Services at University of California, Davis, “Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of, and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth.”
How many of us make the time to ensure that wellness rituals and habits are built into our daily grind? Coffee runs, which might feel essential to ‘get-up-and-go’, are just the tip of the feel-good iceberg. Keep in mind that some store-bought coffee drinks contain scandalous amounts of sugar. One exceptionally popular frozen coffee offering is reported to include upwards of 25 teaspoons. If you are seeking sustained energy and productivity all day long, choose wisely from the menu. Begin to experiment and establish morning hot drink rituals that offer more than a temporary, unsustainable caffeine rush.
This matters because choosing to live a high quality life physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually, is a wellness lifestyle that is likely to trickle down into healthy decisions occupationally, intellectually, and financially.
Actively tapping into personal wellness will help you to manage stress, subdue or prevent sick days, and allow you to perform at your peak. We all know those days when things are just clicking, when energy and focus feels regulated and when there are enough hours in the day to get things done. This sweet spot of optimized wellness is well worth repeating. But if these feelings of personal balance are a rare occurrence, saved only for weekends and/or vacation time, don’t miss the opportunity to set your wellness wheels in motion at the start of this new school season.
After all, what we do and think repeatedly on a daily basis forms our habits. These habits make us, and set down the tracks on which we will travel. Who will you be this semester? Will you be super-charged one minute and just get by another, or will you plant seeds all day long which transform you?
Here is a handy menu for getting a jump on wellness, just in time to tackle the HUSTLE required to thrive this semester.
The innate hunger to build, create, do something and try. The ability to make things happen in light of knowing how to get there, but operate with the general principle that action breeds results.
- SNACKS THAT WILL LOVE YOU BACK – Packaged snacks used to all be a riddled with just enough salt, sugar and fat to optimize tastiness. They were engineered to cause the consumer just enough distraction to encourage chronic overeating.
Healthier options offer sustainable possibilities for fueling throughout the day.
- FUNCTIONAL VINEGAR SHOTS
These Organic Apple Cider Vinegar-based tonics are made from minimally processed whole fruits and spices. They join a fast-growing segment of the functional beverage market aiding in alleviating leg cramps (attention sportsmen and women!), increasing natural energy, and aiding in mental health support. Keep a single shot packets in your backpack, take a swig of tonic from a portable bottle or add some to your water bottle, salad dressing or smoothie. www.Vermontvillage.com and www.Firecider.com
- REAL FOOD SNACKING
Here in Westchester, artisanal company Healing Home Foods in Pound Ridge, NY offers wholesome, allergen-friendly, delicious granola, crackers, and on-the-go snacks. Personal favorites include their award-winning Almond Butter Chunk Granola, Graham Bites, and Spiced Pecans. All are available at their company store, select retail locations and online. www.Healinghomefoods.com
- SLEEP AS A STRATEGY FOR COLLEGE SUCCESS – Science and nutrition author, and “Personal Health” columnist for The New York Times Jane Brody, reports that, “Studies have shown that sleep quantity and quality equal or outrank such popular campus concerns as alcohol and drug use in predicting student grades and student’s chances of graduating.”
- Skip the All-nighter prior to exams. After 20 hours awake, students perform as if legally drunk.
- When men’s varsity basketball players at Stanford University slept optimally, they experienced a notable increase in both their free-throw and three-point field goal percentages.
- PRACTICE WELLNESS ALL DAY – Treat yourself to fun moments in the day to counterbalance the pressures of classes and homework. Doing this while on campus is highly recommended.
- Live more consciously outside your cell phone than in it for part of the day.
- Walk around campus and flood your blood, body and mind with fresh oxygen, while enjoying the mood boost of being outdoors.
- Wear things that make you feel happy and comfortable.
- Pack a soothing warm or refreshing cold drink inside a combination hot/cold beverage bottle.
- Bring headphones and mindfully relax listening to music that soothes your soul in- between classes.
- At night, linger in a steaming shower before bedtime, to wash away the pressures of the day.
In this new semester where change will inevitably occur, respect yourself enough to do what serves and grows you. Create something. Choose to live well every day regardless, or in spite of, the imperatives of the day.
His Holiness, the Dalai Lama suggests, “There are only two days of the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow.”
Take in more of the good today. Welcome back to campus.