You’ve already declared 2017 to be the year you eat and live a cleaner, healthier lifestyle. You’re cutting out the toxic patterns of diet, relationships, study habits (or lack thereof) and starting fresh this year.
You, however, are currently binge watching Netflix’s newest release of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” at 3 a.m. while washing down the last pound of shrimp and sausage from Lotus Seafood with a cold cup of homemade strawberry lemonade.
I’m guilty of all of the above. (Certainly, I can’t be the only one enjoying a Lemony Snicket classic on Netflix right now).
If you feel as if you’ve fallen into the gaping hole of hopeless New Year’s resolution wishers, don’t worry: It’s still early in the year, so you (and I) have time to dedicate to achieving those goals.
Preparation is key
Just like everything else in life (interviewing for that dream internship or going on a first date), preparation sets you up for success. Pick a specific day to dedicate to meal prepping for the approaching week. Meal prepping will save you from that dreadful debate after a long day at school/work on whether to cook a meal or pick up a takeout order.
Here are links for inexpensive meal prepping containers:
Invest in a crock pot
This is a kitchen necessity. There are endless amounts of meals you can prepare with a crock pot between two to four hours, no culinary skills required. You essentially throw in your choice of meat, vegetables, noodles, rice, seasonings, etc. and voila! you have a home cooked meal. Separate into different meal prep containers and your week is set.
Here are some affordable slow cookers to look into:
Move your body
Do you ever find yourself close to shedding tears while lingering in the last seconds of your safe haven (AKA bed) before starting the day?
Turn on music and start moving your body.
Choose songs that inspire or motivate you. Whether it’s the lyrics or simply the production, you want to listen to something that will either pump you up or calm you down enough to get yourself in the zone. “This Is What You Came For” by Rihanna is my current favorite workout song. The pop song’s upbeat tempo (and Rih’s sweet melody) is what keeps my body moving.
Do this during the morning to get your blood and heart pumping for the day. Or maybe during a 20 minute study break when you need to work out other muscles in your body and give your brain a rest.
Keep a reusable water bottle
A staple item in college. A no-brainer. Stay hydrated, friends.
Here’s some inexpensive, BPA-free reusable bottles:
Create your own emergency kit
You want to keep the usual first aid kit supplies close by you:
- Band aids
- Alcohol wipes
Also, these items are just as important to keep close, in case of any situation:
- Mini Stapler
- Wet wipes
- Condoms (visit Women and Gender Resource Center for free condoms).
Journal your journey
You may think this is cheesy but you (and I) are making efforts to change our current habits and lifestyle. That doesn’t happen overnight. It takes daily effort. Documenting how we’re feeling, what we’re eating, exercises we’re engaging in daily, how often we ate/exercised a day can help release those emotional connections to our current lifestyle.
There’s a universal understanding we all share that being a working student is tough. Taking fifteen plus credit hour courses on top of working 20 plus hours at work while also taking care of personal responsibilities at home, various financial bills, managing to squeeze in time to study for exams, and still have somewhat of a lively social life can be quite the challenge.
The transition to a healthier lifestyle can be relatively easy and inexpensive. You can start with what you have and where you’re at; even if it’s in bed with greasy Cajun seafood.