Feeling good about your routine

Student at Food Services location

Change and uncertainty have challenged our typical routines this past year – sleep, physical activity, and extracurricular activities may have become disrupted, out of sync, or even non-existent. It’s understandable and almost inevitable that your habits have changed. You may have even learned that you function a lot better with 12 hours of sleep, or that you really love dancing to 80’s music. Harness what you have learned about yourself and focus on making routines that will help you be your best self.

Returning to in-person campus life could mean rebuilding those former routines or a fresh start. While building healthy routines require dedicated time and effort, our foundational health and wellness practices benefit from structure and consistency. When routines are established, they take up less energy, planning, thought, and time for the same positive outcomes.

Here are some things to consider as you develop new routines:

  • Prioritize healthy eating – For some, this might mean setting aside time once a week to do your grocery shopping and meal preparation. For others, this might be listening to what your body needs, practicing meaningful eating, or gathering with friends or roommates to make meals. Campus Wellness has a great resource on Food and Nutrition that will provide you with ideas for breakfast, snacks, and healthy eating during stressful times. Also, don’t forget about WUSA’s Food Support Services!
  • Move your body – Try to take a physical activity break at least once an hour. Whether it is going out for a walk with a friend, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, or stretching at your desk, choose an option that’s best for you. Read more tips on incorporating Physical Activity into your schedule.
  • Make time for sleep – Maintaining a regular bedtime and wake-up time has shown to help with information retention and academic averages. Our bodies need between seven to nine hours of sleep for optimal functioning. Learn how you can set up your room for sleep success.
  • Socialize with others – A sense of belonging to a greater community can improve your motivation, health, and happiness. It is normal to struggle sometimes when it comes to finding a connection, but there are ways to build a sense of belonging. Read more on finding a sense of belonging and making friends on the Social and Spiritual Health web page.
  • Having a work life balance – Ensure that you maintain work life balance by prioritizing your time and have set work hours. You may notice tasks that may have taken little time or energy previously, take much more these days so be mindful of your stress levels. Once your work hours are over, unplug and try meditation, walk around, or watch a 30-minute episode of a show you enjoy. Learn more about stress management strategies.

It may feel difficult to incorporate all of these aspects into your daily routine. Be realistic about how long it will take to accomplish and give yourself a little extra time. Also, don't forget to apply what you've learned about yourself this past year. Your routine should be flexible, so it doesn’t feel too hectic or overwhelming.

Download the Back to Campus Guide (.pdf) to refer back to these resources when you need it most.

Read more