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Article by Noelle Rogers

Olivia Slavik, current senior ministry major, graduating in May of 2024

“I learned a lot about balance and what was important to spend time on. I found quiet time with the Lord was the best way to stay healthy. I am a huge people person, so I love spending time around others. But I realized I couldn’t be filled socially if I wasn’t also being poured into spiritually. I needed to take time to individually seek the Lord every day to feel my best.” – Olivia Slavik.

 

Admittedly, college life is chaotic; it is easy to put our health on the back burner. Work, family, homework, and personal commitments often take precedence, leaving little time for self-care. However, staying healthy is crucial not just for our bodies, but also for our personal sanity! There are three areas that are particularly important to prioritize if you want to successfully make it through these busy seasons. This includes mental, physical, and spiritual health. Keeping these three areas in check is vital when balancing our well-being with college schedules. By prioritizing these aspects of health, we equip ourselves to navigate the hectic college years with greater ease and success.

Making mental health a priority is crucial when we are pursuing constant schoolwork. Stronger mental health allows us to think clearly and stay focused on our studies. When we take care of our mental well-being, we can manage stress better and feel more confident in our abilities to tackle the challenges. This means having the ability to handle the pressures of school, such as exams and deadlines, without feeling too overwhelmed. But how? It is incredibly difficult to focus on our health when we are constantly focusing on homework.

Thankfully, there are plenty of effective ways to stay mentally healthy during the hustle of school life.

  • One approach is to incorporate regular breaks into study sessions, allowing time for relaxation and rejuvenation. Engaging in activities that bring joy, such as spending time with friends, exercising, or pursuing hobbies, can also help maintain a positive mindset. Additionally, practicing calming techniques, such as deep breathing or prayer, can provide moments of peace in the chaos. By prioritizing self-care and implementing these strategies, we can improve our mental well-being and push through school.
  • Another crucial area to prioritize is our physical well-being. Neglecting our physical health can have profound consequences, impacting our energy levels, immune systems, and even our overall quality of life. If our bodies fail us, how can we expect them to get us through busy seasons?

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to stay physically healthy. One key strategy is to prioritize regular exercise. Even if it is only a brisk walk or a quick workout session, it can be beneficial. Exercise not only helps maintain physical fitness but also boosts mood and reduces stress. Additionally, focusing on nutritious eating habits, such as incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and protein into our diets, can provide the fuel our bodies need in these seasons. To prioritize physical health, we must also ensure we sleep! Getting adequate sleep is essential for allowing our bodies to rest, recharge, and recover from the demands of the day. By making these small but impactful adjustments, we can stay strong and energized during busy times.

Olivia doing her daily devotional time with the Lord.

  • The last key area to remember to prioritize is spiritual health. The truth is, if we rely solely on ourselves to succeed, we will fail. We are naturally bound to fail over and over again. However thankfully we have a creator who is much greater than us who already knows your plans and is prepared to guide you.

Jeremiah 9:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” The Lord is more powerful than anything on this Earth and has already borne the pain and weight of the world, God is more than qualified to help us.

Olivia Slavik is a great example of a student who focused on learning to prioritize her spiritual health early on. Olivia’s busiest season of life was when she was 16 years old, taking 17 credits, commuting to UNW daily, and working 16 hours a week.

“I learned a lot about balance and what was important to spend time on. I found quiet time with the Lord was the best way to stay healthy. I am a huge people person, so I love spending time around others. But I realized I couldn’t be filled socially if I wasn’t also being poured into spiritually. I needed to take time to individually seek the Lord every day to feel my best.” – Olivia Slavik.

Olivia’s story serves as an inspiring example of the importance of prioritizing spiritual health. Despite juggling a heavy workload at just 16 years old, she recognized the value of finding balance and investing time in quiet moments with the Lord. Her experience shows that taking care of our minds, bodies, and spiritual health helps us not just survive, but thrive in college. It is about staying clear-headed, energized, and grounded during the busiest seasons of life. Prioritizing all aspects of health sets us up for success and a more fulfilling college journey overall.

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