Avoid The Mid-Semester Crash!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — October 25, 2018

Between barely making it through your mid-terms and finals being around the corner, the pressure is simmering on high this semester. Fortunately, you’ve mentally started crafting your pre-planned answers when your relatives swarm around you this Thanksgiving asking the status of your classes. Well, don’t fret and slowly walk away from the energy drinks. There’s hope around the corner!  We chatted with Dr. Lindsey Elmore, pharmacist and wellness expert, to share tips and healthy hacks to get you through your semester in one piece.

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Balancing a full schedule and a part-time job as a college student can have your stress level at its all-time high, how can students manage stress or anxiety on a daily basis?

While it may be tempting to pull all-night study sessions amped up on caffeine, or partying until dawn drinking, lack of sleep, caffeine, and alcohol are a terrible combination that can lead to anxiety and excessive stress.

Be sure to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night, because sleep deprivation can reduce brain function, and lead to fatigue, headaches, and weight loss or gain. As often as possible, head to bed at the same time and get up in the same time in the morning. Caffeine can lead to dehydration. When the body doesn’t have enough water, it can lead to confusion, dizziness, and tiredness. To reduce the risk of anxiety, instead of caffeinated beverages, drink plenty of water.

Alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of anxiety, and bad decisions made while drinking can lead to excessive stress. Limit alcohol consumption to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. I love the old school match maker advice to always limit drinks to two while on dates to avoid risky behaviors that you may regret.

Overall though, that’s important to focus on and be aware of is your “self-care,” which in this case, is both taking care of yourself and supporting recovery. An important aspect of self-care though is to be conscious about who you are and your needs, as everyone is different.

All-nighter study sessions + tight deadlines can cause intense pressure in college, what oils would you suggest when it comes to relaxing + unwinding to combat a stressful environment?

All-nighters are never ideal – but I’ve had to pull them myself, back when I was in school, and even sometimes now with work! Life can never be perfect, but obviously lack of sleep isn’t ideal but to minimize the effect – when I head to bed late (or even if at a normal time), I love to diffuse oils. There are some essential oils if diffused properly that can help and making a personal choice about which one to use will depend on how you deal with sleep etc. Some that I would suggest include lavender, which contains the chemical constituent linalool and has been shown to have sedative effects and improve sleep. Roman chamomile has been shown to improve sleep quality. Ylang ylang and valerian increase sleep duration1. Others include valerian, rue, or vetiver. Don’t have a diffuser? Make a bed mist by combining one part witch hazel and one part water with a few drops of your favorite bedtime oils. Shake well and spray sheets before heading to bed.

College life can include increased snacking and stress eating, how can students pull back on the midnight cravings + intense sugar intake?

The easiest way to avoid eating late at night is to head to bed early. But if that is not possible, be proactive to cut down on sugar. Bring nutrient-dense snacks like nuts or dried fruits with you to class. Snacks like hummus and vegetables, granola, and fruit are high in fiber and can help you feel full all day long. Water too can help you stay fuller, longer, and help you avoid binge eating. College is the perfect time to learn your way around the kitchen. Try cooking your favorite foods, learn family recipes, and be creative.

What supplements are helpful to incorporate into a student’s fast-paced lifestyle?

DIgestive enzymes are a great way to supplement, especially when the diet gets off track for a few days. Digestive enzymes help unlock nutrition from food and ensures that you have what you need for the body to function effectively. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a master antioxidant, and can help detoxify, especially after a night of drinking. Lastly, a multivitamin is a baseline supplement that provides the vitamins and minerals you need for body processes to work with ease.

Instagram:@lindseyelmore 
Lindsey Elmore, PharmD, BCPS
www.lindseyelmore.com

 

 

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