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Back-to-school tips for a healthy year

August! Is it just me or does anyone else love seeing the stores lined up with rows of colorful school supplies?

I know a lot of people dread the school year. However if you think of all the opportunities it brings, the circumstances seem overwhelmingly exciting!

I love seeing the aisles of pens, markers, colorful notebooks and binders. Seeing all the new school supplies makes me think of all the kids starting off their school year. Some of those kids could be the next Bill Gates (computer program developer), Nanette Kass Wenger (world renowned cardiologist), or the next Hoda Kotb (journalist and broadcaster).

All of their success started with a passion for education and the vision to pursue more. But what can help us starting out this school year to better our mind, body and spirit?

  • Get an adequate amount of sleep.

Without enough sleep, the brain can not function properly. When we sleep, our body recharges. Without enough sleep, your body is basically running on 5% battery for the next 12-16 hours. The neurons in your brain recuperate in your sleep, and if they don’t have enough time they will become overworked.

  • Eat a healthy breakfast.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the old saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But have you ever wondered why?

According to, “Breakfast breaks the overnight fasting period. It replenishes your supply of glucose to boost your energy levels and alertness, while also providing other essential nutrients required for good health. Many studies have shown the health benefits of eating breakfast. It improves your energy levels and ability to concentrate in the short term, and can help with better weight management, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease in the long term.”  

So don’t forget to eat something healthy such as eggs, fruit, some meat, yogurt or even a quick protein bar.

  •  Have you ever tried meditation?

Meditation is actually scientifically proven to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and is effective in soothing pain, creating strong emotional health, improves focus/concentration, and promotes brain power ( There are many types of meditation, but here are three types of meditation for the novice: guided, mantra and mindfulness.

Guided meditation is when a person creates imagery in their mind of places they find relaxing, trying to use all your senses such as smells, sights, sounds and textures. Mantra meditation is when you use a calming word, phrase or thought to avoid stressful situations that may cause anxiety or discomfort. The last is mindfulness meditation, which according to is “being mindful, or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. In mindfulness meditation, you broaden your conscious awareness. You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions, but let them pass without judgment.”

With all the challenges that come for this upcoming school year, remember all the lifelong memories you will create too.

So yes, study as hard as you can for that exam, but no matter what grade, be happy with the effort you put in. Go to that football game. Join the club you’ve been watching from a distance. Embrace every moment of everyday life, and remember that your mental and physical health come before anything else.

Christelle Temple is an WVU honors sophomore. She contributes a weekly column on health, fitness and motivation. Follow her on Instagram @ellesbells2. Contact her at