Adjusting to a new life away from home can be challenging for first-year students, especially when they’re used to being cared for by their parents. A Whirlpool Canada survey found that almost half of Canadian students said that moving away from home had negatively affected their wellbeing. Now, with the onus on students to take care of themselves, it’s important for them to prioritize health and well-being as key ways to manage stress and excel in school.
Parents, you can help your students succeed by encouraging them to practice these essential self-care tips for a healthy and balanced life.
1. Stay active. A busy schedule may leave students feeling unmotivated to exercise, but it doesn’t take hours at the gym to see the benefits. They can try walking, biking or rollerblading to classes across campus, or signing up for a fitness class with friends. Any movement or time spent outside will be beneficial to overall well-being.
2. Make nutritional choices. While it’s easier said than done, it’s important for young people to try cooking for themselves whenever possible. Encourage them to try prepping nutritious meals that can be taken to campus and eaten between classes during the week. If their residence or apartment has newer appliances like Whirlpool refrigerators, they’ll be able to adjust bins, shelves and drawers to make room for prepped meals and ensure healthy snacks are easily
3. Attend social events. University is about having fun. That’s why students are better off trying not to let stressful exams and group projects get in the way of making new friends and taking a mental break. Joining a team or club on campus or seeing how they can get involved within the local community will help them feel connected and engaged.
4. Get enough sleep. It’s easy to stay up late when cramming for a final or watching movies with roommates, but it’s important to get a good night’s sleep. Not only will they be more alert in class, but they’ll have more energy throughout the day.
Whirlpool has enlisted the help of Sue Mah, Registered Dietitian and nutrition expert, to offer parents the tools necessary to prepare kids for going away to school and living on their own. For more tips and inspiration, visit Whirlpool.ca/thecareproject.