Being a college student, I think we can all relate to having hectic schedules that make it difficult to follow through with healthy habits like exercise and eating right. I am now in my third semester of college and am still figuring out how to balance self-care and academics which has been more difficult than I imagined. This semester has been the first semester that I have regularly exercised when I am stressed and have been more mindful of what I put into my body. The impact on my happiness and positive self-image have been huge! Rather than turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms, I instead go for a run when I feel overwhelmed which always makes me feel so much better and gives me more energy throughout the day. Finding an exercise you genuinely enjoy such as biking around the lake, yoga or doing cardio at the gym is necessary because if you don’t enjoy doing it, it may cause more negative feelings. It’s also important to be forgiving towards yourself when it comes to exercise! Having the correct mindset of exercising in order to feel healthy and letting yourself know that it’s okay if you have an off week helps cultivate positive emotions towards working out thus making it more enjoyable. It’s easy to grab something unhealthy and fast when we are always in a hurry but changing your diet to be more nutritionally balanced will have a huge impact on maintaining a positive self-image and providing you with more energy! From my experience as an undergraduate, exercise and eating well have had a huge impact on my attitude and energy levels. Being forgiving towards myself and framing these habits in a healthy way has positively impacted my academics and my life in general and I hope my insight allows for others to do the same.
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