Happy Thursday everybody! My last class of the week is over (11 am Comparative Physiology), so I can happily say that it’s the weekend! And what better way to celebrate the weekend than to pop in and blog?
Today I’ve got a post for you that I also submitted as my weekly article for the Daily Princetonian. This week I was asked to write an article about food, since that was the focus for this week’s “Street” issue. Since I’ve been spending a lot of time in the library lately staring at screens and papers, I decided to share some thoughts on how I try and beat the stress and boredom, without feeling like a sloth.
Also, shoutout to my friends and teammates who have been so incredibly supportive throughout the Thesis process. You guys rock!
Tips for Healthy Studying
What is it about studying, libraries and papers that make you want to do anything else but deal with them? And by anything else, I mean constant snacking. But snacking, combined with long periods of sitting at a desk, can add up — especially if you’ve been spending long hours in the library working on your freshman writing sem paper, a final project, or dare I say- Thesis. So, if you’ve found yourself with a case (or several cases) of the munchies, check out these tips to keep your mind sharp and your body strong.
1. Set water goals. When I study, I make a point of making sure I am constantly drinking water throughout the day. This not only helps keep “fake” hunger pangs at bay, it also helps keep my mind sharp and alert. Plus, it forces me to get up and take mini breaks to go to the bathroom! It’s a quick trip, but I find that a little break every hour or so helps keep me going.
2. Keep the snacks light. I’ll admit, sometimes that history reading is just more interesting with food by your side. And if you’re trying to get through that entire book before seminar tomorrow, chances are you’ll be at it for a while, meaning you’ll be needing a substantial amount of sustenance! However, snack foods like chips and candy can make you feel mentally and physically lethargic, which will only make your reading drag on for a longer period of time. If you need something to munch on to keep your brain working hard, opt for something lighter, such as popcorn, grapes or baby carrots. All three of these foods are much better for you than Cheez-Its or Peach-O’s, so you don’t have to worry too much about polishing off the entire bag (oops… guilty!).
3. Give yourself a small reward. I don’t usually study with mounds of chocolate by my side because I know that I will end up turning all my attention toward the delicious treat and away from my work. That being said, I’ve found it quite comforting to come back to my room after a long session in the library and be able to enjoy a small piece of chocolate or after grabbing a couple of Murray Dodge cookies (a place on campus that gives away free homemade cookies) on the way home. Knowing I have something to look forward to at the end of the night makes the task at hand seem much less daunting!
4. Get caffeinated (or have another comforting drink). Seriously. Unless you see caffeine as a “drug” (hey — those people, a.k.a. my dad, exist!), or absolutely hate the taste, I really suggest you give it a shot. For me, now sometimes it’s not even about the caffeine content so much as the act of sitting down with my coffee, opening my computer and getting to work. Having that ritual really helps me focus, and I feel comforted with my lovely U-Store or Wawa coffee by my side. If you’re not into coffee, that’s fine too! You can substitute just about anything else, as long as it motivates you to commit to working. By that I mean it’s probably best to stay away from beverages you might ordinarily consume on a Thursday night and instead opt for tea or juice!
While these tips will hopefully help you keep a focused and healthy mind, remember that it is natural for your body to crave high-fat and high-sugar foods during times of stress! So if you find yourself in the middle of thesis crunch mode at 11 p.m. on a Saturday night, and someone’s just brought you a gigantic chocolate chip cookie from Olives (ahem — I highly recommend it), go for it. I most definitely did!