Staying Mentally and Physically Healthy This Semester

The sign above blogger Palak Patel's bed reads, "Stay Healthy." Palak Patel | Daily Trojan

The sign above blogger Palak Patel’s bed reads, “Stay Healthy.” Palak Patel | Daily Trojan

“Stay Healthy”

These words are printed in my own messy handwriting, and hung above my bed. But after weeks filled with too many midterms and too much coffee, I’m often tempted to ignore it. I’ve made it a point to devote anywhere from a few minutes to an hour each day to maintaining my physical and mental health. Here are some of my favorite ways to keep myself performing and feeling my best.

Blogilates is a YouTube channel run by the ever-enthusiastic and inspirational Cassey Ho. Her workout videos are short, often less than ten minutes, and allow you to choose a workout that targets a specific area. I’ve found that one of the best ways to start my morning is with a short workout, and Blogilates lets me do that and still be on time to my 9 a.m class

Visit the USC Farmers Market
Every Wednesday, USC hosts a farmers market in McCarthy Quad. If you have an hour between classes, I recommend dropping by to both grab a bite to eat, and do some grocery shopping for the week ahead. The vendors sell everything from organic honey to dragonfruit, and picking out your fruits and vegetables is a great way to get yourself excited about eating well.

Keep a journal
Most people associate journals with elementary-school crushes and middle-school drama. However, spending just a few minutes before bed putting pen to paper can help release pent up emotions. It can also put things into perspective, and you’ll be surprised at the number of positive things you can pick out, even on a terrible day.

Tune it out
Listening to music is one of the best ways to mentally decompress. I recommend creating a playlist of some of your favorite songs, and listening to them in the 20 minutes before you go to bed. By putting all your work away and focusing on your music while you get ready to fall asleep, your brain is cued in to the fact that it is time to unwind and relax.

Dress the part
Studies have shown that people who spend a few extra minutes on their appearance in the morning report higher levels of satisfaction with their lives. So take the time to put on whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself, whether that be a killer pair of boots or some winged eyeliner, before heading off to class. You deserve it.

Being healthy involves more than just taking your vitamins, and these tips are some of my favorite ways to keep myself well both mentally and physically. Try them out, you’ll be surprised at the difference they make.