Life @ U of T

Introduction

Maintaining Healthy Habits During Reading Week

Maintaining Healthy Habits During Reading Week

If you found yourself at any of the club fairs or orientation events during the first few weeks of classes in September, you probably have laid your hands on one of the 3½ Things pamphlets put together by the Health Promotions team at UTSG.

In case you haven’t, I’ll summarize: the initiative aims to promote building healthy habits during the first few weeks of classes, which can be easily maintained throughout the rest of the year. There are, as you probably gathered, 3½ things that the pamphlet touches on: eating healthy, sleeping well, exercising, and *YOU DO YOU* (a half thing because hopefully you’re already doing the things that make you happy, so it’s just about keeping them going).

A sketch of a person asleep at night with the caption "thing 1: sleep well" A sketch of a piece of toast with the caption "thing 2: eat well" A sketch of a person riding a bike, two people walking, and a weight to lift at a gym. The text says "thing 3: move U" A sketch of two people smiling, with pine trees behind them. The text says "Thing 3.5: You do you"

Given that you read and clicked on this title, you’re probably also aware of the fact that it’s currently reading week at the St. George campus. This can mean many different things for many different people, but for me, it means flying home and visiting my family for the week.

However, that’s not all that reading week is – it’s also a major disruption in the flow of our semester, which means any healthy habits you’ve formed become vulnerable to drop out of sight. I myself will be the first to admit that this is a major concern.

PSA: This is a judgement-free zone, so if you have strong feelings about people sleeping in I suggest you click away.

The very first day of reading week, I slept in until 1:00 pm MST. For those of you not from the mountain standard time zone, I essentially slept until 3:00 pm Toronto time.  Here’s the thing, though: the fact that I slept in so late meant that something in my sleep schedule needed to be fixed; and reading week is the perfect time to tackle that.

After that first day, I’ve been very careful to set alarms for no later than 7:30 am (mainly to make my time-zone adjustment easier next week) and have been making sure I go to bed before midnight. This is easy, given that my older sister has the sleep schedule (and willpower) we all dream of (or, at least, I dream of it). That’s right- I’m talking 10:00 pm – 7:00 am… every night.

Jealous much? Me too.

Speaking of my sister, being at home has actually made some habits easier to indulge in. For example, sometimes it’s a struggle at school to make it to the gym often enough. At home, though, I get to exercise while also hanging out with my family. On

A girl at the top of a tall rock-climbing wall.
My sister climbing (all pictures of me involved tears)

Monday, for example, I got to go rock climbing with my dad and my sister! Very cool, and also very terrifying for somebody who is not the biggest fan of heights (…me).

At this point in reading week, about half-way through, I’m really proud of how I’ve maintained the healthy habits I formed at school, while also allowing myself to alter them to fit the new atmosphere of reading week. Not to mention, being myself at home is the easiest thing for me to do.

To make the most out of the rest of my reading week, and make sure I pay attention to all the 3½ things covered in the pamphlet, I’m going to coerce my family members into teaching me some of their favourite quick and easy healthy recipes.

It can be really easy to lock yourself away in your room for all of reading week, playing video games or studying non-stop. This year, I’m trying to reinvigourate the healthy habits I tried so hard to form at the beginning of the year, and give them new life for my return to school on Monday.

 

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