It seems like a while ago, but we are just getting started with the new year. Did you also make New Year’s resolutions, and did you stick to them? If you didn’t succeed in keeping them up, read these tips on how to make sure your 2018 will be a healthy year, still starting this January! And don’t worry, they’re not as hard as you think (except for the last one)!

1. Drink lots of water

This is an easy start to a healthy lifestyle! It helps you to get rid of ‘waste’ in your body and gives your metabolism a boost! Besides that, drinking plenty of water will lead to less overeating! So make sure you drink at least 1,5 to 2 litres of water a day. And note: coffee doesn’t count 😉

2. Put on your favorite song

After a long day of studying and drinking lots of water, put on your #1 song. When you’re really feeling it and start dancing like no one is watching, you’re likely to burn a 100 calories every 20 minutes! No need for a gym, make your home the place to exercise together with your roommates while doing the dishes!  

3. Live, love, laugh!

We all know this slogan printed on pillows and paintings, but laughing is actually really healthy! Watch a funny movie, go to see a comedian that you like and you will make sure a little sixpack will appear in 2018!

4. Dry February

This last tip is a tough one for students: when the exams are over, you want to party! A lot of people try to keep their January ‘dry’, but what about the other months? It is actually easier to have a dry February, since that month is a few days shorter than January. That way, you have less days to count down, but you can still say you had a dry month without any alcohol! Win-win!

Studying in the library for the upcoming exams at the moment? Trying to put all your energy into these tests before you’ll enjoy the Christmas holidays? In that case, you might want to read this article.  With these tips on concentration, you’ll make sure that you’ll use your study time efficiently!

1. Shut down social media

As everyone knows, social media can be a hell of a distraction. These apps or websites do not improve your ability to focus, even when you are just answering a (quick) Whatsapp or Facebook message. The apps BlockSite and SelfControl can help you in making sure that you will not be distracted by Facebook or Instagram! The ideal solution when you can’t control yourself (or just give your phone to your study buddy)!

2. 45 minutes of studying

It’s better to study for 45 minutes with a short 10-minute break than to study for 3 hours and have a longer break. This has to do with your concentration span, that lasts around 45 minutes for most people. Do not push it and take a short walk or get that coffee around the corner (but maybe don’t get caffeine every break 😉 ).  

3. Become an early bird

Maybe you don’t like to hear this, but in the morning you will be most productive. So plan smartly, and schedule the toughest subjects of your to do list in morning. Take a well-deserved rest in the afternoon and evening to make sure you will be up and running the next day! Even if you are not a morning person, it is proven that your brains are able to digest most information during these early hours!

4. To do list and activities

When you really have to pass that exam, you are likely to end up studying almost 24/7. To make sure you aren’t that stressed the last hours before your exam, make sure you set up a to do list and create your own deadlines. Besides that, it is important to plan some activities with family or friends. It is likely that you’ll be productive after enjoying a nice dinner, an evening of ice skating or going to the gym after a long day of studying.

Nowadays resumes seem to be top priority to students. Therefore, it’s important to do a lot of other activities next to your study program. In times where you are expected to be online on social apps 24/7, it is necessary to create a proper work-life balance! But how do you manage that? With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to fully relax when you’re ‘off duty’

1. Only you decide when you’re ‘off duty’

First of all, only you can decide that you are ‘off duty’, by switching off your phone or by not responding to any more requests no longer. Tomorrow is another day! It is important to think about the energy you will get out of doing certain activities. If you do not look forward to doing something or you are not enjoying participating in a certain activity, then don’t do it! It will only make you more stressed and you will have less time to enjoy the things you do get energetic from! It is therefore important to be able to say no sometimes.

2. Close your eyes for a couple of minutes

Now that you’ve learned to be off duty, take advantage of this time to close your eyes for a couple of minutes each day and think about things you value. There are certain useful apps that can help you with that, like the app HeadSpace. This app allows you to concentrate on yourself for about 5 to 10 minutes every day.

3. Do not arrive in a messy home

If you have a tight schedule and come home late, it is important to make sure you do not arrive in a messy home. Having a tidy home can be helpful to reduce the chaos in your head. Therefore, it helps to make sure your home is organized and tidy, so that you are not reminded of all the things you still have to do when you get home!

4. Exercise will help you relax

Last but not least, exercise is an important aspect of relaxing. It keeps you healthy and makes you focus on your physical instead of cognitive skills. If you don’t have enough time to go to the gym, there are certain exercises you can do behind your desk to make sure you will burn some calories. Or just walk the extra steps to the toilet on the other side of the building!

If you would like to know more about lifestyle, stay tuned for next week’s tips on optimal concentration!