Monday, December 9, 2013

{College} How to Stay Healthy During Finals Week

It's the busiest time of year! For me, this means school is finally coming to an end. Finals are approaching and graduation is right around the corner (Alleluia!). While these are all positive, healthy habits tend to go out the window. Studying for days on end leaves me sleep deprived, lacking energy. In times like these when I need comfort! I'm not talking getting a pep talk from mom, but surrounding myself with comfort foods like, chocolate, pie, and cookies. Yikes! As a soon-to-be nutritionist, I sit back, relax, and remind myself what I recommend to others every day!

Get enough Zzzz's. First thing's first. Sleep is of prime importance. I know my body needs at the very least 8 hours of sleep to be a functional human being. Sometimes a little thing called procrastination gets in the way and an all-nighter seems like the only option. A recent study found that people who are sleep deprived tend to eat more and gain weight. This time around, I'm putting my foot (and my fork) down and planning my study days in advance.

Breakfast Brain Power. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This statement is repeated over and over again...because it's true! Breakfast consumption has been associated with better diet quality, weight management, and increased cognitive and school performance.  Start by building a breakfast with whole grains, low-fat dairy and fruit. My go-to is oatmeal with milk, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and half of a sliced banana.

Plan ahead. Finals week can get a little bit hairy if you don't give yourself enough time to study. The best thing you can do for your mental health is make a plan. A couple of weeks before (at least) sit down and plan out which days will be dedicated to studying for each class. This will save a lot of stress the night before!

Remember, you can do it!

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