As your kids or grandkids start college this fall, remember that grades aren’t the only thing to pay attention to. Stay on top of your physical and mental health as you ease into college life with this advice from the Chapman University website:
- Sleep. Get six to seven hours of sleep a night. Pay attention to how you feel when you don’t get enough sleep and listen to what your body is telling you.
- Diet and alcohol. How do certain foods make you feel after eating them? How does caffeine or alcohol affect your mood or behavior? Learn to recognize what’s good for you and whatever interferes with your ability to function.
- Stress. Headaches and other symptoms may be signals that the pressure is getting to you. Go to your student health center to get checked out and learn how to balance schoolwork and activities.
- Exercise. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity in each day. Go to the gym, or just take a walk around campus. It’ll help with weight, stress, and emotional stability.
- Practice mindfulness. Pay attention to how you’re feeling. What makes you happy, sad, angry, or depressed? Learning what causes your emotions to surge can help you manage situations more effectively.
- Find a support network. Cultivate a group of friends who value and support you. Stay in touch with your family and friends at home. Reach out when things are difficult.
- Remember gratitude. Instead of dwelling on the negative, spend some time every day thinking about the things you’re grateful for in life—your friends, family, health, and the opportunity to learn. It’ll improve your attitude and overall good health.
We hope these reminders will prove helpful to and your loved ones, as you navigate another school year. There are stress factors abound and being prepared to handle potential issues is your best defense.