Finals Week + Caffeine

I think we can all agree that energy drinks aren’t the smartest things we can put into our bodies. However, so many college students resort to these caffeine-packed beverages, especially during finals week.

Lucky for you, I’m here to give you a few healthy alternatives to gaining that extra push you need to get you through the day.

Tiffany Barrett, a registered dietician at Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute, wrote an article for CNN about 8 healthy ways to boost your energy in a healthy way.  She included the following list for readers to keep in mind when they’re feeling a little extra drained:

1. Drink plenty of water

2. Eat breakfast!

3. Don’t forget protein

4. Keep your carbs smart

5. Snacks are important

6. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, combat depression and improve mood and memory.

7. Magnesium: a mineral important in converting carbohydrates into energy.

8. Don’t skimp on calories

*The entire article, along with descriptions of each tip can be found here

Drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee or energy drinks is okay in moderation. But it’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s body reacts differently to different amounts of caffeine. For an idea of how much caffeine is in some of the drinks or snacks you’re consuming, check out this helpful chart found here! I think some of the information will surprise you.

Don’t let finals week keep you up all night or cause you to resort to unhealthy amounts of caffeine. Try some of the strategies I’ve provided for you and you’ll do great!

Good luck with finals everyone!

Amanda

Dealing with Stress

With the end of the semester coming up and finals week just around the corner, I think it’s safe to assume that we’re all at least a little bit stressed out! Tests are quickly approaching, papers and projects are due and deadlines creep up on us! So while trying to juggle everything going on, how do you handle the stress that comes along with it?

I did a little bit of online searching and found some good tips for managing stress in a healthy way. It seems to be common sense, but a lot of times our common sense is the first thing to go when stress takes over.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle:
Source: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_management_relief_coping.htm

Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week. Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension.

Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.

Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary “highs” caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.

Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.

Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.

In addition to taking these steps to avoid and to deal with stress, there are other resources on campus that you can take advantage of when you need help getting a hold on your stress. The counseling center on campus offers each student 12 free sessions per year.

Also, the counseling center has an online stress management workshop and online relaxation exercises.

Never be shy to take advantage of these services offered to you by our awesome university! But don’t forget that the five suggestions listed at the beginning of this post are all great ways to cope with stress. I have a very Type A kind of personality, so take it from me! I find some of the best ways to handle my stress are to set small goals for myself along the way, get plenty of sleep and always make time to exercise! Sometimes we are so busy or burnt out that the last thing we want to do is hit the gym. But I promise the hardest part is getting there. Once you fit just a 20-30 minute workout in, even if you just run a few laps on the track, you will feel reenergized and ready to tackle the next thing on your to-do list. Not to mention you’ll feel better about yourself and more accomplished.

Best wishes!

Amanda