It's Wellness Wednesday again, friends! Check out this blog post about habits for keeping healthy:
In any program that demands academic excellence, rigor and sacrifice, it can be hard to maintain a balance between work and play. This applies especially to architecture. For those warriors who want to finish the year strong, its going to become increasingly more important to stay on top of your work. In my opinion, the best way to accomplish this is to be able to step away. This means taking some you-time to let your unblinking eyes focus on something other than your CAD file. The best way to do this is to find a healthy hobby that can reward you and keep you focused when it’s crunch-time. For me, this hobby is rock climbing.
I’ve been climbing on-and-off for close to 5 years now. It’s certainly had its ups and downs, but what’s been keeping me coming back is the community and the challenge. Don’t get me wrong: I love the Daniels community, but when it’s 2:00AM and some people are scream-talking to stay awake, it’s the last place I want to be. As a first-year, it can certainly be challenging to make friends outside the faculty if you don’t participate in clubs or social functions. Although the mutual sufferance makes your Daniels friendships unbreakable, it will never come close to the bond you have with someone who literally holds your life in their hands with a half-inch diameter rope 3-times a week. And that’s just the community for rope climbing. When I go to the climbing gym, I normally boulder, which involves climbing with no ropes, above crashpads, and no higher than 20ft off the ground. Since there’s no one to belay you, it’s a more individual sport, but if you find someone who climbs at your level, it can be fun to collaborate on a single route until one or both of you sends it. Even if you’re not climbing at the same level, giving someone pointers or cheering them on can help build a strong bond. Since climbing’s such a physically demanding sport, you’ll find yourself resting for a good part of your session. Having someone to banter with during that time makes it that much more rewarding, and talking about the sport is a great icebreaker! The best part about climbing is talking a weekend or summer trip to the crag to get some time on real rock. Being outside with some cool people can make for a great study break and can certainly clear your headspace.
The other part of climbing I love is the challenge-reward cycle. Starting off, everyone pretty much climbs at the same level. No one really uses grip and finger strength to the extent of an avid climber, so those muscles will generally be weak to begin with. After a while, you get better and better and if you catch the climbing bug (as most people I’ve seen do), you’ll be topping out some seriously hard routes in no time. With climbing, there’s always a challenge. There’s always a harder route you can project. There’s always ways to push yourself and there’s an infinite number of holds you can pull on. There’s no satisfaction quite like sending a route you’ve been trying for weeks, and after the hype subsides, it’s onto the next project. In my opinion, taking a break from some gruelling course work to go rock climb is all I need to stay motivated in my studies and having a healthy hobby to revisit when the going gets tough can help you stay strong mentally and physically.
Rock climbing is just one way to strike a balance in your busy life. I have friends that do yoga, doodle, play badminton at the AC, and everything in between to take their minds and bodies away from architecture. Finding a passion outside of design can be rewarding and exciting. I know sometimes all I want to do is crawl into bed with Netflix, but finding a way to stay active and engaged outside of your computer screen can give you that extra boost of energy to push through your assignment.
Stay healthy, Daniels!
Hey AVSSU! Welcome to another special edition of Wellness Wednesday on a Thursday!
Our theme this month is healthy habits. In the past we’ve given resources regarding a lot of subjects on which it’s important to develop habits, so this month will touch on how to develop these habits.
The core of healthy habits is routine. Doing something as simple as eating at the same times each day help your body relax, process food better, and sleep better. That brings me to my next point, as a regular sleep schedule is critical to health in every form. A lack of routine perpetuates in a cycle, so here are some tips to reset that cycle to help you:
Focus on one thing to keep as a routine. You already have your classes as a regular occurrence, so if you struggle with attendance, double down on getting to class. If that’s hard because of your sleep schedule, backtrack the issues one step at a time. Eating a large meal less than two hours before bed can keep you from getting restful sleep, so it may be a good idea to eat dinner four hours before bed (in which case a snack before sleeping is okay).
If you’re in a position (like me some weeks) where regular meals are not a thing for you, you can try an Apple, Chrome, or Google Store app for meal reminders. I have the times written in my calendar. I also try to go to the gym around the same time each time I go so that my internal clock has a better sense of when to be tired (ideally nighttime).
As for what you’re eating for these meals, UofT has something called the Student Kitchen where you can find tips on nutrition and preparation (team meal prep all the way). http://ueat.utoronto.ca/the-student-kitchen/
Don’t take the food pyramid too seriously though, as it comes from eco-political ties to dairy and grain industries. Read this for more: https://www.vox.com/2015/12/15/10220358/food-guidelines-around-the-world)
You can also check out the UofT Student Life email for more ways to feel more secure, such as academic help (http://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/asc), social connection (http://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/connect), and wellness tips (http://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/bewell)
The most important aspect of developing healthy habit is that you enjoy them. This is MUCH easier said than done in university life, but starting with food and exercise, you can pick healthy foods you enjoy and exercises you enjoy. Then the habits will form and you can try new things to enjoy.
Until next time, AVSSU! Stay well!