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Jun 22 2015
by Shelby Moring

5 Ways to Stay Healthy Over the Summer

By Shelby Moring - Jun 22 2015

As we’ve all come to understand by now, the months leading up to our first semester of college are filled with conflicting emotions and nerves. Whether we try to maximize the little time we have with each of our friends before parting ways in the fall or find ourselves slipping into depression from lack of routine, the summer can take a huge toll on our health. It’s easy to become sluggish after. Thankfully, now is the perfect time to adopt healthy habits to prepare us for a productive fall semester!

1. Wake up at a reasonable hour.

Sleeping in is fantastic until we find ourselves wasting half of the day. While it is important to catch up on hours lost in high school, waking up early has many benefits. Next time you tell yourself that it won’t hurt sleeping in past noon again, consider the positive outcomes of rising early: more organized thoughts and plans, taking on the day in a proactive approach and being in a better mood!

2. Spend more time outdoors.


When we’re cooped up inside for hours on end, we lose motivation and may find ourselves putting on a couple pounds. To avoid summertime sadness and promote healthy living, take a walk outside when you can! Even if you’re on your phone watching Netflix, take a plug outside and enjoy the sun. Vitamin D is good for your mental health and it wouldn’t hurt to remember what fresh air feels like.

3. Meditate or have quiet time.


Reflection is a very beneficial practice, especially during a confusing transition like that of high school to college. If you’ve never been much of a meditator, now is a great time to get into the habit. Try setting a timer for three to five minutes, turning off your sound/vibration on your phone to avoid distractions and sitting upright on a comfortable surface. Leaning on pillows or sitting on blankets is often helpful for meditation. Close your eyes and try to free your mind. It’s natural for your thoughts to wander, but meditation encourages thought and worry-free quiet time. If meditation isn’t your gig, try taking half an hour or so out of your day to unplug from technology and have time to yourself!

4. Maintain a healthy diet.

Getty Images

This may go without saying, but there are certain things we tend to forget (or ignore) when we have freedom granted by summer vacation. Are you drinking enough water? What about your fruits and vegetables, are you eating healthily? There are simple adjustments we can make to our diets over the summer to keep from becoming sluggish and tired. Junking out is fun from time to time, but if you can avoid snacking late into the night, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep and therefore complete item number 1.

5. Talk to your friends.

As most of your former peers begin to move away from home, you might find yourself without the company you once enjoyed in high school. When you feel alone, stressed or have something on your mind, it’s important to remember that many of us have an incredibly overlooked luxury: technology. Turning to FaceTime, Skype, texting or an old fashioned phone call can make things seem “normal” again. While the next three months are filled with rapid changes (some often heartbreaking), please do not forget that you are not alone. This transitional period is only to stimulate growth and there is nothing wrong with reaching out to friends or family to express feelings and thoughts.

Stay healthy, everyone!

Lead Image Credit: Galonline

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Shelby Moring - American University

Shelby Moring is a freshman at American University majoring in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Originally from San Diego, she enjoys Japanese food, finding music on SoundCloud and reading feminist theory. You can follow her on Twitter @floreashelby!

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