Prioritizing Health and Wellness as a College Student
Self-care is so much more than the buzz word of the moment. Self-care refers to a broad range of thoughts and habits that refer to the overall priority you place on making sure that your mind and body are properly cared for. Nutrition and exercise are two of the biggest components and for college students these are often two of the hardest to maintain. With the right resources and time management skills, prioritizing health and wellness while also attending college can quickly become second nature.
Identify Your Resources
For many students, college is their first time being independently in charge of their health. Be it their meals, medical appointments, insurance providers, or simply just when they fit in physical activity, many college students push these issues to the side until they need to pay attention to them. However, it is important not to fall into that habit and instead take preventative steps that can help you avoid a major health crisis.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, telehealth has emerged as a leading resource for so many medical appointments. Keeping in mind that you might need to see a doctor for reasons other than a physical ailment, telehealth offers college students a way to focus on the importance of being mindful of health and wellness. Telehealth also offers a level of comfort and discretion that can benefit even the most reluctant of people. Being able to seek out and receive help virtually eliminates the fear that can often cause people to suffer in silence.
A great example of this is the prevalence of virtual counseling opportunities. Through telehealth, students have access to doctors and therapists that can be of great assistance with the emotional and mental health issues they might be facing. Some programs even offer on-demand style appointments where patients can interact with medical professionals in real time, via text, video conference, or over the phone.
Personalize Your Plan
Self-care is not one-size-fits-all, so expecting to adopt a standard routine and have it fulfill all your needs would be naive. One of the biggest perks of college is scheduling flexibility so take advantage of that and work your wellness plan around your schedule. Also invest some time into figuring out what self-care means to you specifically. A college campus is a great place to being this exploration because extracurricular activities, club sports, and study groups are abundant and highly varied.
Being proactive in your quest for mental wellness can help you cope with the stigma you might have regarding the topic in general. Use this as an opportunity to explore some trial and error in your free time to discover the perfect formula. What your roommate might get from reading for pleasure, you might get through learning how to play an instrument.
College is all about new experiences and first-time events. Figuring out ways to get comfortable being uncomfortable can be a great help in creating a smooth transition for students. Trying new things beyond the classroom is a subtle way to create self-care habits inadvertently. Taking advantage of every new opportunity presented to you to build a network and participate in some self-discovery on your journey towards sustainable health and wellness.