Whether you are a student, the parent of a student, or a former student, the back-to-school season always feels like the time for a fresh start, doesn’t it? Shopping for back-to-school back packs, clothes and school supplies are great way to prepare for a successful year. But, have you considered how to prepare your mind, body and environment for the year ahead? These items take a little more time and nourishment compared to a trip to the mall. However, nourishing your body, mind, and environment for back to school are also essential for a successful and balanced academic year. We’ve got 10 great wellness tips for students on how to nourish your mind, body and environment for the best school year yet.
But first, what do we mean by “Nourish”?
The term “nourish” refers to the act of providing sustenance, care, support, or attention to something or someone in a way that promotes growth, health, or well-being. In essence, to nourish is to supply what is needed to thrive, prosper, and flourish, whether that entity is a living being, a concept, a relationship, or any other aspect of life.
Nourish your Mind
It goes without saying that your mind is your most important asset for peak performance at school or work. Nurturing your mind is a fundamental aspect of holistic wellness that involves caring for your mental and emotional well-being in a comprehensive and intentional way. Just as you attend to your physical health, tending to your mind is essential for achieving balance, fulfillment, and a higher quality of life. :
Nourish your Body
You can think of your body like a Ferrari. To get the best performance out of your Ferrari, you need to put clean, premium fuel into it. To keep it looking its best, you need to use products that don’t damage or oxidize the paint.
If your summer routine involves mid-day naps because you’ve run out of gas, it might be time to take a look at how you are fueling your body. What you put in and on your body are directly related to your energy level, physical health, performance and good looks.
Processed foods don’t break down very well in our system and therefore don’t convert to energy very well. Hello 3 pm energy crash? When the body is exposed to harmful substances, it tries to protect itself by isolating and storing these toxins in your organs and tissues to prevent immediate harm.
Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? The products you use on your body are absorbed through your skin. They enter the bloodstream and therefore reach all parts of your body and nervous system. As toxins build up in the body, they can contribute to ‘brain fog’ which includes difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, and overall mental sluggishness. Toxins can also disrupt the balance of neurotransmitters (the chemical messengers in your brain) which can lead to mood swings, irritability, weight gain and more.
Nourish your Environment
Your environment has a significant influence on your physical and emotional well-being. The people you interact with, the air you breathe, the noises around you all have a profound impact on your health, happiness and performance at school or at work. When you become more conscious of the products you use, the practices you engage in, and the environments you frequent, you contribute to a healthier and more sustainable ecosystem for everyone. Nourishing your environment can also mean doing less, not more.
Here are our top 10 Wellness tips for students and the best school year ever:
1. Stress Management
We know that chronic stress has detrimental effects on mental health. Stress management doesn’t have to be stressful. What is one tiny investment in relaxation, exercise, time management or sleep that you could make today? Each tiny step adds up to something big over time.
2. Positive Self Talk
What is your inner dialogue saying? Would you say these things to your best friend? Is the story you are telling yourself really true? When you’re in a rut, challenge yourself to ask yourself these two questions and see how the dialogue changes. *
3. Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness is defined as being fully present in the moment, without judgement. Even simple mindfulness practices help you to find a sense of calm, improve focus and promote mental clarity. This can be as simple as pausing for a moment, taking a few deep breaths. Plant your feet on the earth and feel your breath going in and out of your nose.
4. Practicing Gratitude and Positivity
A gratitude practice may seem cliche, but it really does set the stage for a better mindset. Simple practices like pausing to really notice something that made you smile, telling someone that they made your day, or making a choice to see the small bit of good in a difficult situation all move you in a better direction. Reviewing these small wins either before bed or as soon as you wake up can really change the course of your day.
5. Drink 1 more glass of water than you did yesterday.
Your brain is about 75% water. Not only is drinking enough water is crucial for overall health and well-being, but it also has a positive impact on brain function. Maintaining this water content is essential for the transmission of electrical signals between brain cells (neurons). Hydration supports the efficiency of these neural processes. Adequate hydration also helps maintain optimal blood volume and blood pressure, which are essential for efficient circulation to the brain. Good circulation ensures that the brain receives a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients.
Being well hydrated improves cognitive function, enhances concentration, improves your mood, prevents brain fog and helps to relieve headaches and helps you think more clearly and creatively.
6. Cook a meal from scratch at home.
The standard North American Diet typically contains highly processed foods, lots of sodium, not enough fibre and way too many unhealthy fats. Your body doesn’t recognize most of these things, so it spends extra energy processing, isolating and expelling what it doesn’t need.
When you eat real whole food, your body and brain don’t have to waste energy dealing with foreign entities. Instead, it can direct the energy towards optimal brain function, boosting your immune system, fuelling your muscles and maintaining great mental health.
Cooking at home also helps with social connection, portion control, cost savings and less food waste.
7. Start reading product labels.
Get curious about what is in that great smelling lotion, your newest shade of eyeshadow and your deodorant.
Some chemicals, such as fragrances, preservatives, and certain dyes, can cause skin irritation, redness, itching, or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. This can lead to discomfort and dermatological issues.
Phthalates, parabens, and triclosan, are known or suspected endocrine disruptors. These chemicals can interfere with the body’s hormonal system, potentially leading to hormonal imbalances and related health issues.
Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and certain coal-tar dyes, have been classified as carcinogens or potential carcinogens by organizations like the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Prolonged exposure to these substances may increase the risk of cancer.
Phthalates and some heavy metals like lead and mercury, have been linked to reproductive and developmental problems. Exposure during pregnancy or childhood can have long-term effects on fertility, fetal development, and child health.
Aerosolized products, such as hairsprays and deodorants, can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to indoor air pollution. Prolonged inhalation of these compounds may lead to respiratory problems.
We love the products from Carina Organics and use them here. They have done the work for us to help you look and feel great in a healthy way.
8. Sweat more.
Sweating helps with detoxification by releasing water-soluble toxins through the skin. It can aid in the removal of substances like heavy metals, alcohol, and some pollutants.
When you sweat through vigorous exercise, you also release endorphins which are the body’s natural pain killers and mood boosters. Exercise and sweating also reduces stress hormones.
When you sweat in an Infrared Sauna your muscles, joints, and skin all receive extra blood flow and nutrients. This extra circulation leads to more pain relief and a glowing complexion.
9. Talk less, listen more
When you listen to your special people with the intent of understanding them rather than preparing to respond to them, you gain a deeper understanding of their thoughts, feelings, perspectives, and experiences. This understanding fosters empathy and helps you connect on a more profound level with more meaningful conversations. Human connection is vital for our overall feelings of wellbeing.
Listening can be a valuable tool in resolving conflicts. By actively hearing the concerns and perspectives of all parties involved, you can work toward mutually acceptable solutions.
Listening more means you have the opportunity to learn from others and your environment. You can gain valuable insights, knowledge, and new perspectives, contributing to personal growth and development. You are also less likely to focus on your own stressors or worries.
12. Make time for nothing.
It’s important to note that doing nothing doesn’t mean complete inactivity all the time. It refers to purposeful moments of rest, relaxation, and mental downtime. Finding a balance between activity and rest is key to overall well-being. Incorporating intentional breaks into your daily routine can help you reap the benefits of doing nothing while maintaining a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.
When you take time for nothing, your brain has a chance to integrate new information and consolidate memories. Doing nothing can provide space for your mind to subconsciously work on complex problems, often leading to unexpected solutions
Try Floatation therapy, or take a quiet time-out in nature, without headphones, and explore the power of nothing.
The effort you invest in nurturing your mind, body, and environment will undoubtedly lead to a brighter and more vibrant school experience. Let holistic wellness be your compass as you embark on this new chapter, and may it guide you toward a refreshing and transformative start. Good luck on your year ahead!
For a copy of these top 10 wellness tips for students, download our FREE poster. Put it in a place where you can see it as a reminder to take care of yourself.