The Collegian

Start the semester off on the right foot: 5 tips for good physical and emotional wellness

Emma Anderson

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Even though the start of a new school year often means reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, buying textbooks and budgeting the meal plan, it also means taking a moment to focus on one’s physical and emotional wellness.

Whether a freshman or a fifth-year senior, starting off the academic year on the right foot is important because it sets the tone for the rest of the year.

Here are five tips from associate director Brenda Andersen and Mariah Weber, Wellness coordinator at the Wellness Center:

 

Get out of your room

It can be beneficial to take advantage of the opportunities to meet people and get to know campus.

“It’s critical to get outside and be active and open yourself up to making friends, especially early on in the school year,” Andersen said.

Go explore McCrory Gardens and use the Wellness Center regularly – whether it is to run the track or challenge your friends to table tennis.

 

Watch what you eat

Although it is tempting to eat Panda Express for every meal, don’t do it. Instead, Weber said to “practice moderation, choose a variety of different foods and wholesome foods that will nourish your body and mind.”

What you eat and drink has a direct impact on your overall physical health and wellness, and there are so many options both on and off campus to mix up your diet.

 

Get plenty of sleep

Even though this one might seem obvious, Andersen said sleep is consistently one of the top things that affect academic success. Somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep each night is optimal for young adults, Weber said.

Although we all pull our fair share of all-night studying, it is not really helping us. What will help us, however, is getting to bed at a decent time and cutting back on the late night caffeine binges, Andersen said.

“A rule of thumb I try to abide by is to not have any caffeine after about 5 p.m. so I have time to unwind and can fall asleep easily,” Andersen said.

 

Attend the fitness classes the Wellness Center offers

The week of Aug. 20-25, the Wellness Center has free classes that range from Pilates, water aerobics, Zumba and cycling, Weber said. The unlimited class pass is on sale for $50, which allows students to attend any class until the end of the semester.

 

Seek help when you need it

It is OK to feel stressed and anxious but it shouldn’t feel like there are not people to talk to about it.

“It is helpful for students, especially freshmen, to set up a relationship with their roommates and other peers in case they start to feel homesick,” Andersen said.

The Wellness Center offers many different and free resources for students seeking someone to talk to because let’s face it, college can be tough and transitioning into college life can sometimes be a struggle.

“Emotional wellness inspires self-care, relaxation, stress reduction and the development of inner strength,” Weber said.

 

For more help or information you can call the Wellness Center counseling services at 605-688-6146

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Start the semester off on the right foot: 5 tips for good physical and emotional wellness