As the semester begins, I’ve found myself back to the daily grind, sitting in classes and willing that minute hand to tick just a little freaking faster. But despite so many things being the same (the classes, the books, the late nights IMing the roommates down the hall…), it is a brand new year, and the perfect time to make some big changes.
Your slate is clean (and your pants still fit!), so let this new school year be your opportunity to start fresh and make good, healthy choices. It’s always good to start out with goals you actually will end up completing, so here are some small, completely doable changes for you to consider so that this year finds you healthier and even more fabulous than the last!
Dear Water: We Love You.
We all know water is muy importante. It keeps you feeling full, prevents dehydration, and clears your body of toxins. Sweating, drinking alcohol, and merely functioning every day (especially in college) cause a loss of said water and it’s up to you to replace it.
Yes, if you want to be healthy with a fabulous complexion, you need to drink the water.
That being said, don’t freak out about the eight glasses per day thing – its not just plain water that does the trick, and the amount you need depends on how active you are. Also, if you’re one of those people who hates drinking water by itself, don’t forget that fruits, vegetables, tea, and other things we consume everyday have water in them, too. And don’t forget about Crystal Light – make it your BFF this year.
Think Before You Eat.
You’re hungry – ohhh so hungry. You haven’t eaten in hours and you need food ASAP. Stop before you grab that takeout menu and order a dinner high in calories, sodium, and fat. Now don’t get me wrong; I love my Ramen as much as the next person. Take-out and pre-packaged foods are great every once in a while when you are in a hurry and need something fast. But if you plan your meals beforehand, you won’t have this dilemma. You can save time, stress, and calories simply by deciding what you are going to eat for that day before the day starts. Plan your meals in advance and you’ll make much healthier choices.
Go to Sleep, Woman!
You’ve heard it before, but this is one small change that almost goes without saying. Because one cannot be fabulous while yawning. Or while sporting dark circles under her eyes. One study by a Cornell psychology prof suggests that sleep deprivation is similar to operating while impaired. I think we’d all like to be fully functional (during weekdays, at least), so turn off the TV, close that laptop and get into bed. Before 2am.
Germs – You Don’t Even Know.
Germs are everywhere. There’s more bacteria on everyday items like your light switches, kitchen sponges, and television remote than there are on your toilet seat! If you want to avoid the sniffles (or the Swine Flu!) this year, grab some disinfectant wipes and have at it every now and then. And if your roomies think you’re OCD, tell them to go spend some quality time with the toilet seat….or just print out this article and tape it to their door. (Then go wash your hands.)
No Sweat! It’s Not All About the Gym Membership.
Even though getting a gym membership can help you regularly exercise if you’re like me (as I’m more likely to work out when I have a financial stake in the matter), it’s definitely not a necessity. You can fit in exercise any place, any time! Get an exercise ball instead of a chair to sit on at your desk (hell, it’s probably cheaper anyway). Then you can work your core while doing your homework (or more likely, while reading College Candy!). You can rent exercise videos or find a channel that has free workouts (one of the benefits of cable tv, ladies). Do squats while brushing your teeth. Forget that elevators were ever invented and take the stairs. Do tricep dips using the edge of your couch while watching television. Power walk to class. Do lunges while you’re heating up your dinner. Exercise improves your mood, prevents disease, and keeps you looking fabulous – and not having a gym membership can’t stop you! Just small, conscious changes can yield some serious benefits in the long run.
Forgive, Forget, and Move On.
One of my best friends and I stopped talking after we had an argument. And yesterday, for the first time in two years, we talked and cried and laughed over the silly little things we had missed about each other. When you think about it, there’s always a little something preventing you from starting fresh. Whether it’s drama with your friends, still missing your ex, or holding onto a grudge, forgiveness seems like a small task, but once it’s done, you just feel… better. Turns out forgiving and forgetting also helps reduce chronic pain, lower blood pressure, and maintain healthier relationships in general. So dig deep – what’s been bothering you? As cliche as it may seem, let the past be the past and let this year be your healthy, happy future.