An image of a person taking time to work out.
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

It’s Time To Change Your Pandemic Lifestyle

While the past few years have been hard for everyone, some of the habits we’ve fallen into have been less than ideal. Here’s how to restart a healthy lifestyle.

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An image of a person taking time to work out.
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

While the past few years have been hard for everyone, some of the habits we’ve fallen into have been less than ideal. Here’s how to restart a healthy lifestyle.

I don’t know about you, but even though we’ve been over a month into the new school year, it’s been hard to get back into the groove of things again. I’m a senior in college and this has really been my only “normal” year. Insane, right?! I will say: My junior year (last year) was normal as we were back in person after two years of online school and unpredictability. The only reason I say this is the only regular school year is that I was so overwhelmed last year doing classes in-person for the first time in years that it was incredibly hard to adjust. It took longer than I would have liked to feel fully myself again. I know I’m not alone in this.

It took me over a year to become a better version of myself by incorporating habits into my daily routine. I thought I would share with you two of the major things that helped with my physical and mental well-being as well as staying on top of things. You may already do some of these activities, which is great. If not, maybe try some of these out; they might work for you.

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The first thing is to move your body. This one may seem like common knowledge, but I’m telling you: It does wonders and is so good for both your physical and mental health. If you find any sort of movement that you enjoy doing, that’s a big win. Seriously, exercise should not be a punishment. Instead, it should be a form of celebration (as cheesy as that sounds) because you are able to move your body and be able to make those improvements to get stronger yourself.

On top of having someone else to work out with, it’s great to have someone to hold you accountable. I don’t know about you, but it’s much easier for me to work out with other people instead of by myself. Two things I suggest for that is to either have a workout buddy and/or a workout group to go to the gym with. The second thing is to invest in a personal trainer (if you can). I have had mine for almost a year and the amount of progress I’ve made is amazing. Seriously, I’m so proud of myself.

Also, my mentality around everything has improved tremendously, which is why I’m making the progress that I am. What I mean by that is I’m making smaller changes for myself that will help me in the long run. I’m building healthier habits for myself. Taking a walk outside every day and adding more nutritious foods to my diet are just a few of the small things that I’ve added to my routine. Taking baby steps instead of having this all-or-nothing mindset (which, from personal experience, never works) will help you so much in the long run.

That first suggestion was long, but I’m very passionate about health and fitness. The second suggestion is to have a weekly planner for yourself. Sticking to a routine and a set schedule has helped me be more productive. Don’t just put tasks in there like homework. Don’t get me wrong, that’s definitely important. But scheduling things such as what time you’re going to wake up, do your daily hygiene, eat and work out will help your chill time pay off.

When school was fully online during the pandemic, it was just not the best time for me (or anyone)! I had low motivation, sat in bed for the majority of the day, didn’t eat well and didn’t want to go out to safely socialize in any capacity. I was a living hermit, and it was not good for me. I knew something needed to change once classes started to be back in person again. I will say: College is much different from high school in regards to having a set schedule because you have more free time. However, it’s much harder to do things during that free time that will both help you and be productive when you may just want to go home and take a nap.

I have a daily planner that I physically write in that helps me. I use different colors and highlights to designate homework assignments, events that I’m scheduled to attend, and just normal daily rituals.

That may not work for some people, which is completely understandable. People may need regular reminders to keep them on track. Think about it like a daily alarm to “wake up” and get your stuff done. The easiest and most effective way is to use the reminders app on your phone, which lets you check off all the tasks once you have completed them. Another way is the calendar app. You set a time to do something or an event you must go to and it reminds you when it starts. Hearing that ding on your phone can be a huge help to motivate you to action.

Getting into a set routine can be hard to do at first (trust me, I’ve been there plenty of times before), but it will be a huge game changer for you as a student. You will feel more energized and motivated to get those daily tasks done. Heck, you may not even consider them tasks anymore and enjoy what you’re doing once it’s ingrained in your system. The better you are at organizing your life, the more free time you’ll have later on to do more things you enjoy or try out a new hobby. It may even give you the time at the end of the day to take that nap that I know you enjoy.

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