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Be kind to yourself. Be well.

8 Small Steps to Wellness

SLEEP

GET SOME REST. Try for 7-8 hours of sleep at least twice a week, and get yourself to bed by midnight. Studies show you’ll retain more of what you’re studying if you “sleep on it.” And you’ll definitely feel better and more capable of working.

BREAKFAST

EAT YOUR BREAKFAST. Really. We mean it. Eating a healthy, balanced breakfast truly gives you energy throughout the day, and it’s been shown to help students learn. (try whole grain cereal or bread, fruit, milk or yogurt, and an egg or a small handful of nuts.)

EXERCISE

MAKE TIME TO EXERCISE. Try to find at least a little time for exercise every day. Simply taking a brisk ten minute walk can help you stay focused on your studies and lift your spirits.

FRUITS + VEGGIES

TRY TO EAT 4-5 FRUITS + VEGGIES A DAY. More fruits and vegetables in your diet will help with your energy level, your mood, and your immune system (unlike sugary snacks, which slow you down). Carry an apple or some carrot sticks with you for a quick fix while you’re studying.

KINDNESS

DO A DAILY KINDNESS FOR YOURSELF. Buy a flower (or a bunch) to put on your desk, massage your legs with some really lovely smelling lotion, treat yourself to a good quality dark chocolate bar, put away your studying by midnight and read a few pages of a novel-just for pleasure.

FRIENDS

PLAN A “FRIEND DATE”. Make time to have tea during a study break, make dinner together, or go see a fun movie. Spending time with the people you care about has actually been linked to academic success.

MINDFULNESS

BE MINDFUL: MEDITATE. Mindfulness meditation helps quiet your mind and body, making it easier to focus and study. Even a few minutes of focused breathing-counting “in one, out one” with every breath up to ten-can help you relax.

BIRDS

“JUST TAKE IT BIRD BY BIRD, BUDDY.” This is what writer Annie Lamott’s father once wisely advised her kid brother who was struggling to write a paper on birds. Break your work up into bite-sized pieces (birds!) and try to focus on a single little piece-you’ll get to the rest later. Pretty soon you’ll have a whole bunch of “birds” and your work will be much closer to finished.