Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years

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GeneralHealth Info

College Body and Health

When you're in college, planning time to take care of yourself can be a challenge. But everything goes better when you do. You think better (therefore test better), you feel better (therefore less cranky) and look better too.

Here are some college tips:

  • Eat right. - You can do this simply by eating the right foods in the right combination. Using the simple food groups model will do. Eat something from each food group at each sitting weather it be a meal or snack. Variety is the key.

  • Exercise with an activity that you enjoy. - There is a type of movement for everybody. It could be dance or yoga or volleyball. Some young women enjoy team activities, and some more individual activities. Some exercise can be both…like skiing or dance class. Some days, we may enjoy one type, and the next day, a different type. Which activities do you enjoy?

  • Get a good night's sleep. - Sleep has long been known to effect our emotion, mental and physical health. Sleep helps us to have more resistance to illness, be more alert, and less subject to emotions being disturbing. Ever hear the term circadian rhythm? It means "about a day". Hence, circadian rhythm is your body's biological rhythm that repeats itself each day. If you are awake when your rhythms are most active and asleep when your rhythms are inactive, you'll be able to maximize your health.

  • Deal with stress in a healthy way. - There are unhealthy ways to deal with stress that don't serve you as "taking it out" on someone else or drinking and getting high. There are healthy ways like doing relaxation techniques, writing in your journal, talking to a good friend or family member, or going for a walk. We have a Relaxation Kit that would give you some useful help when you are stressed.

  • Listen to your body. - Research shows that listening to your body cues, and then following those, enhances the health of young women. An example might be that you feel tired or a mild headache, and feel like being alone even though it's Saturday night. You friends call and you feel torn. Instead of doing what you "should" do, you may realize it's better for you to choose to listen to your body. You stay in, perhaps turn on your favorite music, drink herbal tea and write in your journal.

  • Finding Friends at College . - It's always good to reach out and talk to those that you can trust. One of the problems with being at a new school is that it takes time to develop trusting, healthy relationships, and time isn't yet on your side. It's difficult to reach out when you're feeling a little unfamiliar as well. One suggestion is to strike a balance between extending yourself to meet new friends and reteating to take care of yourself, doing familiar activities like writing friends from home or listening to favorite music. Taking one risk a day and being gentle with yourself by reaching out to friends and family at home is a good way to move into college life.

    I often ask young women, "What qualities do you look for in a good friend or adult that you like to be with?" Use time by yourself to write in your journal a list of people you have a respectful and healthy relationship with and the qualities of those people that you can trust. By identifying these characteristics, you may recognize them more quickly as you meet new people at college.

  • Written 9/00 Revised 6/11/01

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