Fight the Fatigue

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As the cold weather sets in and our work load builds up, college students tend to take on the winter blues –the time of year where we get sluggish, experience a loss of energy, a sense of fatigue, and absolutely no desire to work more than we need to. Right? We are finally done with midterms and professors have already started discussing dates for the final –students can’t help but question whether we are ever going to get a break. With the Thanksgiving holiday around the corner, we anticipate a time of complete relaxation until we learn that papers and presentations are due the days before and after it. Life for us college students can be hard and it can be stressful –if only there were an application on our “smart phones” to get us through the day. The days become shorter and it seems like there is just not enough time to get everything done. We are so mentally exhausted from the workload, we become physically unable to function. For those of us who can’t squeeze in a twenty-minute power-nap between classes, what is there to do that will give us energy to keep going?

In reading some of the questions submitted to  kateshealth@gmail.com, one popular concern was student exhaustion. An anonymous freshman complains, “Sometimes I feel like I need to snack more than usual because I am so exhausted. Junk food is the only thing that keeps me up in class. Please help!”  Well guys, this is completely normal and it happens to all of us. When we experience mid-day fatigue, and a nap is just out of the question, we tend to eat whatever is convenient and satisfying in that very moment. Since we don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal, we reach for whatever is quick and easy and we’re not to blame! There are however things to do and eat that will save you from your 2 p.m. crash, and help you get the energy to get through this last long week. It’s the homestretch people, let’s learn how to get through it right.

Water, not coffee. Although we think a second and third cup of coffee is the remedy for energy, it in fact does the opposite. The dose of caffeine undoubtedly gives us a quick energy boost, but after an hour or so we tend to crash because we become dehydrated. The key here is water. Before you give in to your third round of Java City, drink two cups of cold water right when you experience that first sense of fatigue. Water hydrates the cells, allowing your mind and body to feel refreshed and awake — giving off a much more stable boost of energy than coffee.

Vitamin C, vitamin C, vitamin C! Research shows that vitamin C has a positive effect of reducing symptoms of “chronic fatigue syndrome.” It not only provides an energy boost, but it aids in faster healing, the prevention of cancers, and helps fight depression. So yes, go cut up an orange in between classes, it does the trick.

Dark chocolate, yes chocolate. Studies show that chocolate, through it’s supply of antioxidants and small dosage of caffeine,  helps the body release energy-boosting endorphins. Without having the whole bar of chocolate, have a small piece when you find yourself dozing off in class –it’s just enough to get you focused.

Stretch! Go find a little secret spot in Hillwood Commons and get on the floor! Stretching helps release all tensions and stresses embedded deep in your mind and body, acting as an instant energy booster. Before class, or even on a quick bathroom break, go stretch your body and clear your mind, then re-approach your work.

Stay moving. Even though your absolutely exhausted, go for a walk and re-energize the mind. During your fifteen minute break, sometimes it is more beneficial to be active rather than sitting down relaxing. Taking a brisk walk will wake up your circulatory system by transporting nourishing oxygen throughout the body, allowing you to feel much more energized.

Keep focused during this homestretch to the holidays. Less than two weeks of classes before Thanksgiving break and it is no time to give up now. Get good rest, drink plenty of water, and try your best to stay active. Think healthy, you can do it!

Until next time, have a stress free and fully energized week!

Katie!

 

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