Eat, sleep, gym, study, repeat. If there is anything striking that college has taught me, it is the importance of simply finding balance: seeking harmony between your academic goals, health, fitness, and passion for nutritious food. Yet, even when you seem to have nailed the perfect routine, you can't help but feel as if you haven't been getting enough sleep, dedicating enough hours to studying, or making enough time for your mental health. 

However, with constant reminders, tips, and support from each other, it is possible to improve and cultivate the habits that will allow you to live a more balanced lifestyle that grants you satisfaction and the time to properly fuel your body with healthy food. 

Write Out Your Thoughts

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When you sense the dark feelings of stress and anxiety looming, it seems impossible to find the time to do anything relaxing. During these times, it is easy to neglect the power of transcribing our anxious thoughts, to-do's, and goals onto paper.  When you take the time to physically plan out your day, you allow yourself to set realistic goals for the future and push yourself to be productive within a specific time frame to finish your tasks. Writing down your thoughts onto paper can also relieve some of the burdens in your mind and give you a sense of clarity and direction. 

Finding Balance Between Food and Fitness is Possible

James Kim

The common phrase of having "no time" is more often than not an invalid excuse, but it is especially unreasonable when applied to the principles of living a healthy lifestyle. Just as it is possible to schedule your daily to-do's, it is definitely feasible to schedule time to workout and meal prep ahead for a busy day. Whether it may be waking up a little earlier in the morning to get some physical movement in for the day, or making your lunch the night before so it is ready to go, living a healthy and fit lifestyle is possible if you commit and set your mind to it. Yes, there will be days when stress causes you to binge eat on your favorite sugary snacks, and that is perfectly fine. It is important to be mindful of our food choices, but also listen to our bodies and honor our cravings when we want them in order to avoid establishing a negative relationship with food. 

Letting Go of Some Commitments is Perfectly Okay

James Kim

The classic ambitious student is notoriously known to have a few too many extracurriculars and commitments on their plate, adding the burden of jeopardizing other priorities or encountering feelings of burnout. We have all been there and done that; I know I am most certainly guilty of trying to be a superhero student in my past. As UC Berkeley's DailyCal article "Know when to say ‘no’: Setting your priorities as a UC Berkeley student" specifies, it is crucial to set aside the time to reflect on your purpose for taking part in a commitment. If an activity is not deemed worthy of your time or is not in alignment with your personal passions, it is completely okay to lighten your load and enjoy the rest of your college experience.  

Making Time for Self-Care is Essential

coffee, cake
Emily Genzer

No matter how demanding or busy your schedule might be, I cannot stress enough the importance of making time for yourself for the sake of your mental health. Burnout is real, especially amongst college students. Whether it may be squeezing in a workout, spending some extra time cooking a delicious meal, or just watching some Netflix with your favorite snack, incorporating a personal activity or hobby into your daily life is essential to give yourself a break from the chaos of your demanding life. 

Finding balance in our everyday lives is a constant battle that we all face, but you are never alone in your struggles. With these tips and words of encouragement, I hope that you will be able to successfully craft that perfect balanced plate of college, healthy living, and everything in between.