A fresher’s guide to keeping energised

How to keep your body going.

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Photograph by Joanne Skelton

At some point in the last few weeks you have probably experienced freshers’ flu. I know I have. As well as this, you have had to drag yourself out of bed in the morning for your 9am lecture or seminar, and at 11.30am when you flopped back into bed you realised you would have to do it all again the next day.

Freshers’ was great: no responsibilities, staying out until 5.30am… and for some this is still very much a reality. But for others, including myself, going out every night is no longer a possibility, both energy-wise and financially! So here are three simple tips to help you stay energised through the first term of university. This way, hopefully you won’t be missing out on the exciting days ahead.

1) Vitamins

This is a one-step, fuss free way to ensure your body is getting the right nutrients, to keep you going for the next night out or that 9am lecture. I would recommend getting a multivitamin and iron pack which contains all that you need for the day ahead to keep your body in good order. Many of these vitamins are not food supplements, so remember to take them with some food, even if it is left-over takeaway from the night before.

An alternative, and something I prefer more than multivitamins, are vitamin effervescent tablets. These mainly contain Vitamin C which helps reduce tiredness and fatigue by releasing energy from your food quicker. It also helps boost your immune system, so fighting off freshers’ flu is a little easier. These tablets are also great as they are dissolved in water so can be taken to lectures, seminars and other events throughout the day.

You can buy multivitamins relatively cheaply from any supermarket. I got mine from Home Bargains, along with my effervescent tablets. You could also get Berocca or a store’s own brand which are pretty much the same and much more cost effective.

2) Herbal tea

Herbal tea is an interesting topic, as many people turn their noses up at it, especially us Brits who like to make tea in specific ways and up to our own personal standards (strong, two sugars, and water first, NOT milk!). But herbal teas are a great way to combat tiredness and give you that all-natural energy boost.

Peppermint tea is the perfect pick-me-up in the morning before a lecture or seminar: this fresh minty drink is sure to perk you up just with its refreshing scent. As well as this, it is also caffeine free so the energy you receive from peppermint tea is natural. The menthol scent is also said to have stress and sinus-pressure relieving properties which makes this delicious tea the perfect drink for us freshers in these first weeks.

Other teas, like green teas, are also great for your immune system and can help maintain your brain function which will help you on those long reading days.

You can buy herbal teas from anywhere, as you don’t have to buy the most expensive brand. Any brand of herbal tea will have equal benefits, so you don’t have to splash the cash on a £9 box of tea bags!

3) Meditation

Mediation is another topic greeted by a fair amount of skepticism. While this might not be everyone’s ideal activity, simply taking five out of your hectic day can really help to recharge your body and mind and get you prepared for the next task with a clear head.

For this, all you need is some calming music which you can find on either Spotify or YouTube, take a seat and just chill. Try to focus on your breathing while doing so, thinking about the way you are inhaling and exhaling and the speed and depth at which you do this.

Mediation is a simple way to energise and can only take five minutes, as well as being totally free. The benefits of taking time out just to focus on yourself and your well-being could be the difference between a happy, calm student and a stressed-out, tired student. For more information on mindfulness, and free sessions, head to the Chaplaincy Centre on Thursdays from 12.15 to 12:45pm.

As well as these three tips, getting a good night’s sleep is the top thing to do for a more energised tomorrow, but I know as well as anyone that isn’t always as easy as it sounds. So, do what makes you happy and remember to focus on yourself, because a happy you will translate positively into your work or whatever activity you are pursuing. Good luck!