Studying abroad can be challenging for a lot of students; after all, settling in a foreign country, adjusting to new cultures and doing tons of school work could be draining on one’s time and energy. Keeping up with all of these changes should not be an excuse to compromise on one’s health. Here are some easy tips to put you on track towards a healthy college lifestyle.

Write it Down

Moving away from home to study means creating a whole new schedule for your new life. While this new schedule will probably be hectic, relying on your short-term memory to keep up with your to-dos is definitely not ideal. So, get a pen and paper—or even your phone—to  jot down all the tasks you need done. Writing things down helps us keep things organised and also allows us to accomplish more tasks in less time. Taking down notes and scheduling your time will also help you to incorporate exercise, buying healthy foods, and taking your vitamins regularly into your schedule.

Make Use of Your Surroundings

It is important to familiarise yourself with what your new home has to offer. Find the nearest supermarket so you can easily grab some healthy food—like fresh fruit and veggies  which are not only a natural source of energy, but also the best food to eat on the go— rather than making fast food and take outs your go-to meals. Find a gym that is accessible (or take full advantage of your school’s free gym!) and sign up for a fitness programs that works for you, both in terms of time and your interest; try to incorporate at  least 30 minutes of cardio, three times a week into your schedule. Simply find the nearest, quickest and easiest ways to stay on track with your health goals.

Be Consistent

Once you have a plan in place, stick to it. Discipline yourself. Don’t skip meals, instead, incorporate a balance of lean protein, high fiber carbohydrates, and healthy fats into your diet; take your vitamins regularly. However, in order to keep your daily to-dos interesting, you can definitely add a mix to each one. Add a cheat day to your weekly meal plan. Join a sports or dance club to add to your fitness regimen (which also helps you be more social and have fun!). Consistency is the key to achieving any goal, and finding a way to NOT to let your everyday life mundane really helps.

Mind, Heart, and Body

Being healthy isn’t just about eating the right foods at the right time. Your emotional, mental and social well-being is equally as important as your physical well being. Find people who you share a passion or hobby with; talk to them, socialize, learn and exchange ideas with them. These practices will not only widen your social network, but also help you ease the emotional stress of being away from home. While stress is a norm at college, don’t let it get out of hand and lead to severe anxiety.

keep your mind, heart, and body healthy

Have Fun

Lastly, make the most out of your college experience abroad. Don’t just drown yourself with school work. Stay healthy, productive and happy at the same time. Savour your youth and get out and explore the beauty of your new home. When you look back at your college days, it’s the good times that will be the most memorable!

If you are planning to study abroad, be sure to also check out our blogs: 5 (Fun) Reasons to Study Abroad, Your College Packing Guide, and The Expat Education.

About the Author: Euchrissa Ladrera is a junior Mass Communication student from the University of the Philippines Cebu. She volunteers to teach English to out-of-school youth and juvenile delinquents under a special program of an international NGO. She writes news articles, travel, history and trend feature stories, and also does investigative journalism as part of her program curriculum.