Toast to Good Health: 7 Healthy Habits to Lower Your Stress

We’ve all been there. It’s January 1st and you’ve set a resolution to make some healthy changes in your life, but how do you stay motivated for an entire year? The truth is the majority of people who set New Year’s resolutions don’t keep them. Life gets busy and priorities change.

Globe University-Madison East staff and faculty understand this dilemma, so they formed a Wellness Committee to help deal with it by supporting healthy choices.

Globe University-Madison East, healthy habits

Madison East staff and faculty potted almost 30 plants for the campus.

Since its inception in January, the committee has:

  • Coordinated a Biggest Loser Challenge for staff and faculty members with prizes for the top three “losers.”
  • Planned and executed a Wellness Week during summer break including a healthy lunch, snacks, and healthy activities.
  • Potted and planted almost 30 plants and placed them throughout campus to help improve air quality.
  • Organized “The 1,000 Mile Walk” challenge in which participants logged the miles they walked or ran and tracked the miles collectively on a map from Madison, Wis., to New Orleans, La. Once the participants made it to New Orleans, they held a Mardi Gras themed celebration.

With finals just a few short weeks away, the Wellness Committee shared with students some of their top healthy habits to reduce stress:

  1. Schedule breaks.  When you are studying or working on a project make sure you schedule a break every hour to allow your body and mind to recharge.  Walk away from your computer and books.  Take a walk, call a friend, or just sit in silence.
  2. Treat yourself – to some brain food, that is.  While you are taking a break grab some brain food like an apple or a handful of almonds, or as Director of Career Services Elizabeth Disch likes to call the two, “A-Squared.”
  3. Stay hydrated.  Soda and energy drinks may seem like a great fix when you are tired and need a boost, but water will rehydrate your body and leave you feeling satisfied without the sugar crash.

    wellness

    Participants in the 1,000 Mile Walk Challenge toast to good health at the Mardi Gras themed celebration.

  4. Sleep. Resident Veterinarian Megan Jordan is a sleep proponent. “Your body needs to rest and if you don’t get enough sleep at night, your brain doesn’t function as well as it could.”
  5. Get moving. “Running is my Zen,” says Massage Therapy Program chair Robin Rinehart. “When I run the stress from my body leaves and I can clear my head to create focus on the coming day with a new slate.  I feel happier and have more energy because I run.  Each step brings a bigger smile to my face.  Find your Zen and exercise is easy!”
  6. Read! (And not just your textbook.) Surprise, surprise, this tip comes from Campus Librarian Cynthia Bachhuber. “Studies show that reading for fun provides better stress relief, relaxation, and mood improvement than watching TV,” Cynthia said. “Even 10 minutes of reading before going to sleep can help reduce your stress level and lead to better rest.
  7. Don’t worry.  Instructor Di Carey received this advice from her grandfather on his 90th birthday.  “He said the most of what we worry about never comes to pass and the things that catch us by surprise we just handle at that moment.  I try to remind myself of this because worry causes stress and stress undermines wellness.” Di says her grandfather lived to be over 100 years old and was of sound mind and body until the very end.

Start introducing these simple, healthy habits today and by the time finals week rolls around you won’t be stressing out—instead, you’ll feel prepared, energized, and ready to ace that test!

Share your own healthy habits below for other readers to view.