NOW Blog - Fueling Your Body during Mentally Exhausting Times

October 30, 2020

Life is not what it used to be and we are continuously having to adapt to a changing world. I know for myself, at least, it's been quite challenging to maneuver school, work, and other commitments. Since school went online I thought it would be easier to juggle more units and my extracurriculars, but I was so wrong! If you happened to do the same thing as me, I am sorry but we will get through this.

Part of performing well in school is being in the right headspace and feeling your best. In a time full of so much uncertainty, this can be so challenging to accomplish but remember that you are worth trying for and you will get through this! At first, I thought it would require less energy to handle online learning, but I was so wrong! If anything I feel more exhausted and mentally drained. I’ve noticed that I am more fixed on my computer and have shifted my priorities-- which has led to poor performance and a lack of energy. For me, it has been the stress of feeling like I am falling behind and feeling guilty for not being as physically active as I used to be. To cope with these feelings I lean on yoga as it serves as a mental and physical outlet for me. I know that I tend to have better days when I do yoga so I try to make this work on days that I can. During these times, we have to be more willing to compromise and realize that none of this is normal and it’s okay not to feel “normal!” 

It may feel easier to just hop out of bed and log onto Zoom, but take a few minutes before the lecture to mentally prepare and fuel your body! Personally, I love to start my mornings with a carb-rich meal to fuel my brain and body. Even if we think we aren’t using up as much energy it has become harder to stay concentrated and motivated so to better tackle your day make sure to stay fueled and energized. Our brain uses most of the sugars in our body to fuel itself so do not compromise on eating. It can sound easy to use the 10-minutes before class to walk over to the kitchen and prepare something, but with a time crunch, it can become daunting to figure out what to eat. In order to make sure I fuel my thoughts, I make overnight oats the night before to ensure that I have breakfast. My favorite snacks are usually peanut butter and toast, banana and peanut butter, and green grapes! They all require little to no prep time and keep me satiated for my next meal. It is important to listen to what your body needs and if you need a pick me up, you should reach for it. 

The big message here is that you should not skip meals, ever! We may think that by compromising our meals we will have more time to accomplish other school-related tasks but how productive will we actually be if we aren’t fueling our bodies with the nutrients our body needs to function and perform at its best! Proper nourishment is important even if we are not being as active as we used to be and you shouldn’t compromise your health for school. It’s definitely a stressful time, but try to fit in activities that make you happy. I’m a movie enthusiast and try my best to fit in a movie, or two, during the week so I have something to look forward to.

These are very uncertain times, lean on people you trust, and don’t forget to take care of yourself. This may look different for everyone and maybe my unwinding activities don’t match yours but as long as you are taking time for yourself that is all that matters. We are halfway through the semester, don’t give up now!