Since starting school a few weeks ago, I have absolutely loved getting back into a routine. From planning meals and workouts, to study sessions and organizing date nights, I love being BUSY. Yes summer is fun; sun is shining, beach is hoppin, but there’s something about getting back down to business, being productive and getting closer to accomplishing your goals, that I just love. Registering for Holistic Nutrition with CSNN was the best decision I’ve made, and I’m so excited about the program and what it means for my future. However, getting back into studying can be tricky; you want to make sure you don’t develop any bad habits at the beginning that will most likely follow you throughout the year. The “Freshman 15” is real my friends, and I don’t want to get caught up fueling my study sessions with 5 cent candies and peanut butter m&m’s!
I’m proud to say that not only have I developed better study habits, but I’ve managed to cut sugar cravings all together. I am still making sure I fit in my workouts, get enough sleep, maintain my social life, and most important, eat nutritious food. Organization is key, and preparation is necessary. Here’s a few tips that keep my nutrition in check, my study sessions free of candy, and my head on straight!
Pack nutritious snacks. You all know the quote, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail? I always make sure I have snacks or a meal on hand. Focus on nutrient dense, colorful foods so you know you’re getting plenty or vitamins and minerals. Choose foods that work for you, and that make you feel good, vs foods that may make you feel ill. So don’t go packing a bag of popcorn when what your body really craves is a bag of fresh fruit or veggies! I have always thrived on a lower carb, higher fat diet. I don’t track any certain percentage of these macros, because truthfully for me, it ultimately leads to a plethora of unhealthy events (track macros/calories using myfitnesspal, go over allotted amount, guilt, binge, more guilt, restrict, repeat), so I practice intuitive eating, which works best for me! If I pack more food than I need, I don’t necessarily eat it all, unless I’m hungry. And I do my best monitoring whether I’m eating for nourishment, or simply out of boredom. Listen to your body, and more specifically your hormones. More on this topic in the future, as clearly it took me more that one easy step to go from tracking everything that went into my body to eating food intuitively, while maintaining self love and respect for my body. Fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, smoothies, and salads are usually my go to snacks!
Find a healthy study environment. I find it difficult to study at home, as the TV, fridge, and boyfriend are all only a few steps away and can keep me easily distracted from my studies. Some days I will definitely make it work, but on those long days when I have multiple chapters to burn through, I pack my little study bag, google a cutesy cafe in Kelowna, and head off into the wild! Note: if spending is limited, check before hand at prices for coffee or tea. Usually a 2 dollar tea can keep me preoccupied for a few hours. The library is always a good idea too, but I prefer a busier environment like a coffee shop, as I’m one of the fortunate few that can study with noise in the background!
Set time limits. I swear this is my secret to success. Once I know all of the content I need to go through, I break it up into sections. From there I will work on each section for about 45 minutes with no distractions. This means setting an alarm on my phone and keeping it our of reach, because yes, if it’s in my face I WILL occasionally check instagram, and before I know it i’m drooling over food pics and purchasing whatever gluten free goodie they have going on behind the counter. After a productive 45 minutes of studying, I take 10-15 to give my brain a break. I usually try and read or check emails/cruise on social media, or jot down ideas for a blog post. It’s also a great idea to go for a ten minute walk to get your blood circulating and clear your head!
Reward yourself. Positive reinforcement works for adults too you know? Keep rewards realistic, small, and relatively inexpensive if you’re on a budget. As much as I want that new lulu hoodie, it’s not realistic or financially responsible of me to go buy one after a few hours of completed homework. I would go broke within a week… But a hot bubble bath, a good book, and a glass of Merlot will definitely keep my eyes on the prize. Other rewards I’ve made are attending a workout or yoga class that I otherwise wouldn’t sign up for (usually between 17-20 bucks a pop).
Studying can be difficult, especially after going back to school after working full time for a few years. You just have to keep your eyes on the prize, and remember that you are working towards pursuing a career you are passionate about that will open doors for a better future.
Cheers & Happy Studying