5 Tips for Staying Healthy Away from Home

5 Tips for Staying Healthy Away from Home

By: Heather Jang
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This may sound cheesy, but if there is one thing I’ve learned from living and working on my own in a new city, it is to always keep tabs on your health. When I first settled into my new scene in Calgary four months ago, I was excited: I had a place to stay, loved my workplace, found the closest Bernard Callebaut chocolatier and even had my grandma set up on Skype. Everything was great.

Four weeks later, I developed shingles. It lasted four weeks, and marked the beginning of my parade of medical maladies. Shortly after, I also contracted mono, suffered from dehydration, developed adrenal fatigue, had the stomach flu and, best of all, contracted a UTI. Believe me, it was not a good time. And it wasn’t that I went out drinking and eating deep-fried pickles (so good) every night, either. I hadn't realized it, but since I had moved to Calgary, my body had been under a lot of stress; everything was running on overtime and eventually, I just couldn’t keep up. As a result, I've learned it's important to check in on my mental and physical health, especially after experiencing such a big shift in my lifestyle. Below are 5 tips for keeping yourself healthy, when living on your own (especially for the first time).

1) Give yourself time to relax and get regular sleep

You hear it all the time, but you hear it all the time for a reason. Big changes wear your body out faster, and nothing recharges your batteries better than good night's sleep.

2) Keep an active social life and take the initiative to spend time with others

I'm not saying you should go out every night, but don't be a hermit. Once I started inviting people out more often, my mood and energy (and weekends) were fuller, richer and just plain better.

3) Get fresh air and plenty of exercise

Go for a walk, feed the ducks, visit the gym. Exercise will boost your mood, vitality and immune system.

4) Eat healthy food

You already know to watch the drinks and fast food, but also make sure you're eating balanced meals. When you're suddenly only buying groceries for one, it's easy to miss out on the variety of foods you'd regularly eat. For instance, one bunch of kale will now last me an entire week. Even though it's healthy, because I don't buy as many different vegetables as I would at home, I'm actually getting less of a variety of nutrients.

5) Stay hydrated

Your adrenaline and body are going to be working just a little harder when you're on your own, so keep the water flowing. It’s a lot easier to stay hydrated now, than it is to rehydrate once you’ve gone too far.

Posted on January 17, 2014