Incorporating healthy habits into your life now can lay the foundation for maintaining good habits throughout your artistic career. To assist in your personal health, we invite you to take advantage of the wellness opportunities offered by our office throughout the year, including petting therapy dogs and attending programs sponsored by SAIC’s Compassion and Belonging Grant. Don't forget to check out Campus Resources for information on other wellness resources on campus, including Counseling Services and Health Services.
For tips on taking care of yourself in the midst of the pandemic, check out this handout.
The following are suggestions we’ve heard from SAIC students as being the most effective at improving your overall well-being. We do not recommend tackling these all at once! Pick an area you want to focus on and work on that for a period of time. It can be hard to make multiple major life changes at once!
Our bodies wait until we’re asleep to flush out the toxins and waste our brains produce during the day. A good night's sleep leads to muscle repair, memory consolidation, and the release of hormones that regulate growth and appetite. It also means maximum alertness when working with potentially dangerous artmaking equipment.
Tips for good sleep:
- Get Regular – Try to go to bed and get up around the same time each day.
- Sleep when Sleepy – When you notice you’re feeling sleepy, go to bed. Don’t power through.
- Get Up and Try Again – If you’re having trouble falling asleep, get out of bed, do something calming, and try again to return to bed and fall asleep.
- Avoid Caffeine and Nicotine – Smoking or consuming caffeine within 4-6 hours before bed interferes with sleep.
- Avoid Pre-Bed Screen Time – Using mobile devices or a laptop before bed limits your melatonin production; a crucial sleeping hormone.
Good nutrition helps you stay energized (important when in a 9-4!), reduces your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promotes your overall health.
Tips for good nutrition:
- Snack Responsibly – Pack healthy snacks when you go to class so you’re not tempted to grab less healthy and more expensive food on the go. Healthy snack ideas:
- Apples and Peanut Butter
- Nuts (add some m&ms and make it trail mix)
- Greek Yogurt (buy plain then add fruit and/or honey)
- Carrots, Broccoli, and Hummus
- Peppers and Homemade Guacamole
- Research Fruits and Vegetables – Not all fruits and vegetables have the same nutritional value. Do your research and eat the healthiest!
- Avoid Heavily Processed Food – Focus your diet on foods that have undergone the fewest chemical/mechanical changes to their original form.
- Supplements are not Substitutes – Taking a multivitamin is fine, but it’s not a substitute for eating well.
- Eat Whole Grains – …such as brown rice, quinoa, black beans, and 100% whole wheat bread.
Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength, boost endurance, and improve your cardiovascular system. It provides crucial energy for those long studio sessions.
Tips for exercising:
- Create a Schedule – Plan when you want to work out and prioritize it.
- Find a Fitness Buddy – Find someone who will hold you accountable and work out with you.
- Download a Fitness App – Wherever you get your apps, there are a number of options that track your fitness progress.
- Eat Right and Sleep Well – Your body will perform better athletically if you’re well rested and have appropriate nutrition.
Connect with Others
Although we all have different needs when it comes to social connection, social isolation has been connected to a variety of physical and mental health problems.
Tips for staying connected:
- Engage – Visit engage.saic.edu for a list of all the events and student organizations on campus.
- Know Yourself – Spend the amount of time with others that feels right for yourself. It’s okay to take some time to yourself.
- Parties or 1on1s – Some people love group gatherings. Some people love time with a close friend. Prioritize what makes you feel best.
- Stay in Communication – If you feel like you need a short break from people, let your friends know what’s going on so they don’t worry.
Your body is about 60% water. Drinking enough water helps with energy, kidney function, skin appearance, and digestion. It’s also cheaper (free) than processed drinks!
Tips for drinking enough water:
- Keep Track – Experts recommend drinking a half-gallon per day. The closer you get to that amount, the better.
- Carry a Water Bottle – Keep a water bottle with you to class and use it keep track of your intake.
- Limit Sodas and Juices – You don’t need the added sugar (or cost) of processed drinks. Your body is built to drink water!
It’s easy as an artist to let your space get cluttered. Organizing and cleaning can do wonders for your mental health.
Tips for cleaning up:
- Make a Schedule – Work with your roommates to make a schedule of all the major cleaning tasks that need to happen and stick to it.
- Let it Go – Does having a certain possession excite you? If not, it may be time to get rid of it.
- Put Things Away – The floor is not "away." If something doesn’t have a spot, create one. If there is no spot, you may want to get rid of it.
- Talk to Your RA – If you live in the residence halls and you’re having trouble getting on the same page as your roommates about cleanliness, ask your RA for help.