7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Health

by Amrutha Chethikattil

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Really though, what’s better than listening to your classmates coughing, constant gift shopping, an excessive load of tests, and the possibility of shivering to death if you forget your jacket at home? With Thanksgiving just having passed and Christmas rolling in, all of us are in a weird in-between period where we try our hardest to function normally, but end up falling flat on our face when waking up in the morning. Winter is also infamous for being a time of overall depression and other mental ailments, and all of us are simply too busy eating to be healthy. Most of us with our busy schedules have no time to really fix this, so here are some easy ways to improve your health all around to keep you in a better condition for the holidays!

1. Walking

This is probably the easiest but the most overlooked task. Walking is beneficial for physical health as well as mental health. This is perfect especially if you have a pet. Just plug in some headphones, play some music, and jog around your neighborhood. Although it may not seem like you have enough time, this tedious task can become part of your lifestyle if you make it a habit. More often than not, people grow to find this to be the most relaxing part of their day. If not walking, grab a bike or a skateboard. Just being outside, especially now that the air is breathable, can do wonders to relax our minds.

2. Breakfast
A lot of us tend to skip breakfast simply because we oversleep. Make sure to set your alarm clock ten minutes earlier if necessary to just fit in a glass of milk at least. You can improve a day significantly by getting something to eat in the morning. Personally, If I can’t do this, I just pack my breakfast and eat it in the car ride over to school ( but save that for extremes because you really don’t want to make that a habit, trust me).

3. Skip the Junk Food

This may be the hardest and definitely takes time to work on, but the United States is known for having a high number of obese and under- active citizens and none of us want to fall into that category.  We all love to stuff ourselves with chips, but this can be detrimental to our health when done on a constant basis. Try eating an apple a day. Before you get repulsed by this idea, remember that apples are more effective at keeping you awake than caffeine. *Gasp*, what, how is this possible??!! It’s true though, so think about that next time you take your regular cup of coffee in the morning. But obviously this doesn’t mean you have to avoid all unhealthy food completely; it just means everything should be taken in moderation.

4. Sleep more

Seriously, we as BASIS kids especially don’t do this. But sleep is crucial, especially at our age. But I’m not going to reiterate everything you know about what your lack of sleep is doing to you, because you already know. This is a major problem for me, too. I find it helpful to turn off all my electronic devices before I go to bed, so even if I want to check my texts, I’m too lazy to wait for my iPhone to start up again. This doesn’t have to be an immediate process. Just aim for an extra half hour, then add on from there.

5. Take Time Off

We all need to find ways to relax with our busy schedule, and I find that music works the best. The right music has the power to turn your whole day around. Besides, listening to music is something that can be done while doing other usual tasks, whether in the car or right before you sleep. Besides that, small things like extending your shower, watching ONE episode of your favoring show, or just giving yourself fifteen minutes to breathe, helps to de-stress and reboot your brain.

6. Communicate

These following months will be some of the most stressful of the year. With lower temperatures, an influx of exams, and never- ending worry about all the things on our to- do- list, we often run out of time to focus on ourselves. Talking to someone, from a friend to a parent, always helps to have someone to relate to or to find inspiration from. For me, I like to write when I get frustrated or over worked. Whatever works for you, find some way to release your emotions and express yourself to avoid getting caught up in everything else going on.

7. Plan it Out

An overwhelming amount of tasks on our agenda can lead to a total fallout all across the board. So write it down, and set up a list of things you want to accomplish or just remember to do by the end of the week. Think of it like a more realistic version of a New Year’s Resolution. Organizing your thoughts helps to prioritize your list and transform a total mess into something a bit more orderly. This can range from doing those daily twenty sit-ups you promised yourself, to getting an A on that math test.

Obviously none of these can be done immediately. Like anything else, we need to start slow to get to where we want to be. But above all, remember to have fun and stay safe this winter!

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