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The first week of classes can be a busy and stressful time for students. However, during this time it is still important to focus on your health by taking time for yourself and working out. ISU’s rec center offers a variety of fitness classes everyday.

With the New Year and new start to school, a lot of goals are being made that can impact sleep, mental health and physical health.

Here are some tips that can help students take a step back from the craziness of college, life and work and focus on their goals for 2020.

Planner, calendar and notes

Having a planner or calendar is a good way to stay on track. Even if the planner has very few notes, it can help keep the things that need to be done all in one place. Once something is complete, check it off and move on to the next task.

A planner or calendar can easily be tracked down at a local Walmart, Target or Dollar store. Using an old notebook to create a planner can do the trick and can even help as a creative outlet. Decorating can be easy to do with some guidelines that can be found by going online.

Planners aren’t really the trick? Using sticky notes or small pieces of paper can also be beneficial; even writing the tasks on the notes app can be helpful as well.

Schedule free time for yourself

Taking time for oneself is a great way to fuel up from past stress. Senior special education LBS Holly Camp says that she wants to start taking more time for herself, whether that's going to dinner alone or going to the movies.

“I think there’s so much pressure to always be surrounded by other people and that there’s a self-consciousness that comes up around being alone in public," Camp said. "Sometimes it needs to be enough to do those things alone and enjoy a movie or a meal without the added energy or stress of being social."

Schedule free time for your friends

When the dishes in the apartment sink are overflowing or too much time is spent in the Watterson Dining Hall and the daily lunch schedule is known by memory, it’s time to head out to grab a bite to eat with some friends.

Playing video games with friends, watching television shows, going shopping or even having a spa hour can really help anyone fuel up for the upcoming week.

Plan something to look forward to

This could be heading back home for the weekend or setting a goal that can be accomplished with time. Senior theater design production major Jessica Madden said that planning something fun for the future helps keep her motivated through the semester.

“I want to start working more with photography, but haven't started yet. I think over the course of the semester, I’ll work to do it more,” Madden said.

Exercise

The campus rec center has yoga classes and meditation classes. These classes are focused around finding your center and can truly help with relaxation.

Senior sociology major Joseph Kennedy teaches yoga and meditation at the campus rec. Kennedy has classes Mondays at 6:30 p.m, Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Fridays at 1 p.m.

Kennedy said that he is very interested in how people choose to find time to control their everyday peace and purpose in such a busy and chaotic world.

“Anxiety, depression and a general sense of unease and restlessness seems to permeate our society," Kennedy said. "Yoga and meditation have helped provide a solid foundation to return to at any point I feel cortisol rising in my body."

Kennedy has been teaching yoga at the Illinois State University campus rec for two years now. He has his 200 hour Himalayan yoga certificate through the Sattva yoga academy in Rishikesh, India.

“My personal experience of centering, grounding and connecting purposefully with what’s truly important in life through yoga and meditation has inspired me to share my knowledge of these growth-inducing tools with others,” Kennedy said.

KACEY NICHOLS is a News Reporter for The Vidette. She can be contacted at vidette_knicho5@ilstu.edu Follower her on Twitter at @Kacey12793516

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