Manage stress. The exercises above will help you deal with stress, which is an inevitable part of college. The activities below will help you reduce stress, too:
- Meditate by simply walking at a slow to medium pace and focusing intently on your feet – your toe touching the ground, your foot landing flat on the ground and your toe pointing back upward. When your attention drifts (and it will), gently bring it back to your feet. The skill you're honing – of noticing when your mind wanders and bringing it back into focus – may be handy when you find yourself daydreaming in class.
- There are likely many ways to sneak in some downward dog between classes. Check if your school's recreation center offers yoga classes or if you can even take a yoga course for academic credit. There are also many online yoga resources available, as well as DVDs and books.
- If you don't want to go the active route for stress management and need to slow down – way down – try this breathing exercise from Eat + Run blogger Keri Glassman: Breathe in, and count to eight in your head. Hold your breath for two heart beats, and then slowly exhale for eight counts.
Sleep well. Concentrating in class is tough when you're running on fumes. Too little sleep can not only zap brain power, but it can also affect your mood, happiness and food choices. Shoot to get at least seven hours of sleep each night by practicing proper sleep hygiene:
- Try to use your bed for just sleeping. If you're studying, watching TV, scrolling through Facebook and occasionally dining in bed, you'll have a harder time falling asleep when you want to. It may be hard to avoid using your bed for multiple purposes when it takes up much of a small dorm room, but this is all the more reason to explore other campus hangouts such as student centers, libraries and coffee shops.
- Unplug. Falling asleep is not easy when you're still wired at bedtime. Try turning off all electronics an hour before hitting the hay.
- It's a no-brainer that you're more likely to fall asleep in a dark, quiet environment. What's not so obvious is how to pull this off with night owl roommates. Four words: Ear plugs. Eye mask.
Look good. If you're on a tight budget, basics beauty products from the drugstore can be pricey. Try these affordable homemade – or dorm-made – concoctions:
- Eliminate under-eye bags with a classic beauty trick: applying cool cucumber slices. Keep the slices in your mini-fridge or freezer and place them on your eyes in the morning. The cool temperature of the cucumbers helps reduce inflammation.
- Sleeping in eye makeup is a major beauty foul that can leave you trudging to your 8 a.m. class with red, irritated eyes thanks to a allergic reaction, contact irritation or infection. Remove eye makeup with about a quarter teaspoon of baby wash mixed with warm water.
- If the daily grind is wreaking havoc on your pores, try mixing finely crushed almonds with a teaspoon of honey and some oatmeal to create a granular scrub. If you're prone to oily skin, add a few drops of lemon juice.