It’s All About Me

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Part VI: It’s All About Me

by N. Menendez, Meaghan Lally, Sonia Montenegro, and Melissa Rebullosa

“Be Happy. It’s one way of being wise.” – Sidonie Gabrielle

No matter how hard you study, how many assignments you submit, or how many books you read you will not succeed without finding personal balance. Stress is the most common threat to a happy and successful student, and while there are ways to manage it, preventing it is one of the best routes to take. At the end of every day take time to unwind and relax, even if it is 3 minutes, it could be the difference between making and breaking it. One of the most important essentials to having a healthy mind and body is nutrition and exercise. Having a balanced diet and daily exercise can help a person leaps and bounds.

Tips for learning how to have a few more moments to yourself:

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

First and foremost, familiarize yourself with the daily good health guidelines for a healthy diet. Remember those “Good Health” pyramids you always learned about in health class? Well, now is the time to review and remember. Balancing your diet takes time, many individuals meet many but not all of the requirements. Look at the breakdown below; try to think about your daily diet and how many of these you actually hit in a day. Then think about little changes you could make to help yourself more accurately eat for health.

Healthy Foods – Daily Recommendation
Fruits and Vegetables– At least 5 servings, preferably fresh
Whole Grains– As often as possible with at least 3 servings a day
Milk Products– 2-3 servings
Water– At least 6 8oz. glasses a day
Lean Proteins– 1-2 servings
Healthy Oils– 2 teaspoons
*With limited intake of added sugars and alcohols

SKIM Milk, It Does a Body Good

Some of the simplest steps in modifying your diet are switching grains and finding leaner proteins and fats. Try brown rice instead of white, skim or 2% milk instead of whole, or eating whole grain bread instead of regular white. Bake boneless skinless chicken breast instead of frying thighs with skin. Also, make sure you’re hydrated. Studies show that people who are well hydrated are able to focus better and longer. Just switch one soda a day for an extra glass of water. Try slicing lemons or cucumbers to add a little flavor. Wind down at night with a cup of chamomile or mint tea. And just like your mother always said, eat your fruits and veggies! Low in fat and calories, fruits and vegetables are filled with fiber that will help keep you fuller longer. By making simple changes to your daily diet, you will find that you have more energy and feel better.

Become the Next Iron Chef

Home cooked meals are not only healthier, but they are much easier than people think! Often people find cooking small meals relaxing and a way to unwind after a hard day at school or work. When worried about time, try researching quick and healthy meals that can be made within 30 minutes. Many recipes are easily multiplied and can be made ahead of time for freezing and reheating later. In between quarters make up large pots of your favorite meals and spend a day separating and freezing individual portions for especially busy nights. Traveling or just too tired to cook or reheat? Try the lighter options on many fast food menus and if you get a hamburger try a side salad rather than fries.

Buns of Steel

Not only is a balanced diet important, so is exercise. Small additions of movement added into your daily routine can not only breakup long hours but rejuvenate tired eyes and minds. It is recommended that a person get in at least 30 minutes a day of exercise. For people who often can’t find an extra five minutes at the end of the day, trying to find thirty seems like a foolish endeavor. But, it can much easier than most people assume. Try taking a walk around the block quickly right after a big meeting or get off one train stop early and walk the extra few blocks. Simply walking 8500 – 10, 000 steps a day strengthens your heart and core. Always take the stairs over the elevator and park in the farthest spot from the entrance to add a few extra steps into your daily routine. If you have the chance to add specific time to schedule for exercise, try routines like yoga or Pilates that offer not only body strengthening but also are relaxing and soothing.

Don’t Forget to Simply Stop and Breathe

One of the most important things to think about when considering personal time is just that, time that is dedicated exclusively to you. Often people who incorporate a small amount of personal reflection time into their daily or weekly schedules show lower levels of stress and illness. Little things like taking 10 minutes to read your favorite gossip magazine or taking a bubble bath on Sunday evenings can do wonders to the mind and soul. Take your dog to the dog park with your favorite book and a big mug of coffee and enjoy your surroundings. While it is often hard to justify taking personal time when you feel overwhelmed with school and work commitments, that much needed break is often the missing key. You will find yourself less stressed and more ready to work and succeed.

Previously: Family Matters

Up next: Stress Happens

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2 Responses to “It’s All About Me”

  1. Stress Happens « Connections Says:

    […] Previously: It’s All About Me […]

  2. That’s a Wrap! « Connections Says:

    […] It’s All About Me […]

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