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A Nursing Student’s Guide to Staying Healthy

Program: Practical Nursing

Nursing Student's Guide to Stay Healthy

This is how Stenberg College’s Practical Nursing program presented itself on paper for me: three-hour classes starting at 1:30 p.m. every day from Monday to Friday. I thought it was perfect as it left me with plenty of time to get everything else done. However, there is also homework and study time to factor in, along with weekend certifications I need complete. Soon, I realized the time commitment that this program demanded. I had to find a way to balance my studies with the rest of my life.

During my first term, managing my time was challenging, to say the least. There were lots of long nights studying at school and ordering takeout with extra food, and lots of coffee and energy drinks. That doesn’t sound too healthy, does it? Realizing that this could be my unhealthy reality, I was motivated to include an exercise regimen to my lifestyle and pack extra food from home instead of takeout, saving me money and calories.

This blog post is about balancing school, work, having a social life, eating healthy, going to the gym often, and getting at least eight hours of sleep each night. Sounds like a lot, but as a Practical Nursing student, I’ve learned it is completely doable and can be easily accomplished with the right amount of determination, motivation and prioritization.

Here are some of the things I did during the school year to practice a healthy lifestyle:

Exercise often

Exercising was and still is a big part of my life. Therefore, it was something I couldn’t give up. The struggle for me was figuring out how to continue working out without losing studying time, sleep or missing classes. Since class started at 1:30 p.m. every day, I decided to work out in the mornings. I would wake up at 8:00 a.m., eat a light breakfast and go to the gym. I would try to go three times a week, therefore my time at the gym didn’t have to go for hours on end. I would simply do a 30-minute circuit and leave feeling satisfied (and sore). I figured going early would still give me enough time to get some homework done online (if needed) or any last-minute studying.

Create good study habits

Studying for exams used to be stressful and scary. I wasn’t always motivated to prepare for exams. I found having a good study group and support system would be the encouragement I needed to get me through the content and understand the material. Studying with friends was fun because we could talk through the material and make funny gestures or faces to help each other remember certain content. The more I say it, the more I believe it: two heads are better than one.

Getting healthy in the kitchen

Studying late at night led me to eat unhealthy snacks, ordering takeout, and drinking lots of coffee, which are not the healthiest choices. Instead, I now take the time to meal prep for the day, starting with a healthy breakfast. I would also pack a lunch, dinner and a few snacks because smaller meals throughout the day are better than three large meals. Of course, ordering takeout is much more convenient but it did not fuel my body for the energy I needed. I now brew a cup of coffee at home, which prevents me from spending money at Starbucks for a grande non-fat extra foam vanilla latte. Who needs that anyway? All those extra calories are only worth it once in a while as a reward for the hard work put in. Plus, it would keep me up until late and I would find myself tossing and turning instead of enjoying a restful sleep.

SLEEP IS IMPORTANT!

It makes you feel better, keeps you alert, and is part of keeping up a healthy lifestyle. There are so many benefits to getting enough sleep, physically, mentally and emotionally. Get your eight hours of sleep!

These are some of the possible ways to stay healthy while in school. Sticking to a routine is my best advice for healthy living and balancing all the life has thrown this way. From an outsider’s perspective, some people may ask how I can juggle it all but if you use the simple tips listed in this blog post, you can see how easy it really is. As long as you have the willpower to follow a healthy lifestyle and plan ahead, I know you’ll be able to do the same.

Check out this video of our Practical Nursing Program.

Photo by Pineapple Supply Co.

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