9 Ways to Nourish Your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health in College

November 4, 2021

Attending college to learn is a no-brainer. But have you ever considered how your overall health helps (or hinders) your ability to study and achieve success?

 

Being healthy in college is a worthy goal that’s within reach, especially when you take a holistic approach. The truth is that humans are multidimensional; each part affects the whole.

 

Biblically speaking, these parts include our body, soul, and spirit. A balanced and broad approach to health should account for each area that contributes to who you are.

 

At Crown College, we’re deeply committed to caring for the whole person. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of suggestions on how to stay healthy in college — physically, mentally, and spiritually.

 

These wellness tips for college students are tailored to students at Crown, but they can also apply more broadly no matter which college or university you call home.

 

We also recognize that everybody (and every body) is different. Feel free to adapt these ideas to fit your unique needs and goals.

 

Physical Health

Think of your physical health in terms of exercise and nutrition. 

 

Moving your body regularly and making wise food choices will work wonders for your physical health. These daily decisions will also spill over into other areas of your life to boost your overall well being.

 

Consider implementing these ideas into your regular routine.

 

1. Get outside.

It’s called the great outdoors for a reason. No matter the season, try spending time outside every day. Sunshine, fresh air, and nature pair well with exercise. Better yet: It’s free.

 

Crown College is blessed to have a beautiful 200-acre campus with plenty of open spaces, sidewalks, and outdoorsy activities to enjoy all year. Try these two special amenities on campus:

  • Disc golf course — one of the best in Minnesota.
  • Parley Lake — walk around or take out a canoe.

 

You can also find several trails near our campus in St. Bonifacius for biking, running, or walking. 

 

Exercise is arguably more fun with friends. Plus, it gives you extra accountability. Ask a friend to walk with you around campus. Research shows that walking just 20 minutes a day, five days a week, boosts immune function, among other benefits. It’s a great way to help you stay fit in college.

 

2. Use the weight room and fitness center.

Ideally, your exercise routine should incorporate strength training and cardio. All Crown students have access to a weight room and fitness center, so there’s no need to spend extra money on a gym membership.

 

It’s nice to have access to exercise equipment — such as treadmills, ellipticals, and dumbbells — especially in the dead of winter when you’d rather stay indoors. Crown provides what you need to get fit without stepping foot off campus.

 

If gyms aren’t really your thing, no sweat. You can also make use of small spaces, such as your dorm room. 

 

Implement a stretching routine for 10 minutes when you wake up or before you go to bed. Stretching your muscles helps ease tension and can even eliminate minor aches and pains.

 

3. Fuel your body wisely.

Healthy eating for college students is easier than you think. It takes mindfulness — in other words, being aware of your food choices and what makes your body feel the best. 

 

The key tip on a healthy diet for college students is to think about your body in terms of an engine: You want to add the right fuel so it runs well for the long haul. In terms of macronutrients, make sure you’re getting a balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats.

 

Try adding a variety of colors to your plate through whole foods, especially fruits and veggies. Additionally, limit processed foods and sweets. Moderation is key. Most of all, drink plenty of water throughout the day.

 

Healthy eating for college students

 

Crown College strives to provide delicious, nutritious meal options and a healthy diet for college students on campus.

 

Learn more about Crown Dining Services >

 

 

Mental Health

Mental health covers everything from emotions, thoughts, actions, and social relations.

 

Don’t underestimate the importance of mental health in college. College comes with new situations, relationships, information, and demands on your time. Taking care of your mental health will help you better manage stress and balance your schedule.

 

Here are three mental health tips for college students that can help boost your mood, benefit your body, and build a solid support system.

 

1. Make room for rest.

Life is busy. Making time to rest will help you avoid burnout. Adequate sleep and power naps are great, but there’s more to rest than catching some Z’s.

 

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, author of Sacred Rest, identifies seven types of rest: 

  • Physical — napping, relaxing, restoring your body
  • Mental — listening to music, quieting thoughts to focus on what matters
  • Emotional — participating in therapy, connecting with a friend, allowing yourself freedom to express feelings
  • Creative — painting, playing, cultivating inspiration
  • Spiritual — journaling, enjoying nature, connecting with God
  • Social — choosing life-giving relationships, setting clear boundaries
  • Sensory — unplugging from electronics, seeking out silence

 

Explore these categories of rest and implement some of the examples listed above to find out what gives you the deepest sense of rest and relaxation. 

 

2. Prioritize friendships and community.

You aren’t designed to do life alone. Social media gives the illusion of connection, but screen time shouldn’t replace in-person interaction. 

 

There are countless ways to cultivate deep friendships and a strong sense of community:

  • Schedule a weekly lunch date with a friend or coworker
  • Join a club or organization on campus
  • Attend events and get to know a new person
  • Volunteer to lead a ministry or Bible study
  • Reconnect with an old friend via phone call or video 
  • Plan a movie night or a dinner out with friends

 

Crown College is a place for you to be seen, needed, and known. It’s a tight-knit community where you won’t get lost in the crowd. Keep pressing in until you find your place and your people.

 

friendships in college

 

3. Seek out counseling services.

If you’re suffering from any mental health issues, licensed health professionals or others trained in counseling are wonderful resources. 

 

Crown College offers confidential counseling services for all students free of charge. Experienced counselors who uphold biblical standards are available and eager to help. Common issues include depression, anxiety, stress, relationship struggles, and personal growth.

 

There’s no need to wait for an emergency or breakdown before reaching out to someone for support. Healing is available. 

 

Remember: The journey to better health — body, soul, and spirit — is a marathon, not a sprint.

Spiritual Health

Spiritual health is about your connection to your Creator. 

 

Crown College is unwavering in our Christ-centered approach. Faith integrates into every part of your life. Your spiritual well being is thus as important as your physical and mental one. With Jesus as your foundation, your spiritual health will flourish and you’ll experience increasing levels of wholeness.

 

Check out our practical suggestions on how to improve spiritual health for college students.

 

1. Schedule daily time alone with God.

Nourishing your spiritual health means daily consuming God’s Word (the Bible) and conversing with him through prayer. Establish a daily rhythm that includes time alone with God — whether it’s first thing in the morning or before you go to bed. This is one of the most helpful ways to improve spiritual health.

 

Check out these free online tools to aid in your Bible study:

 

In addition to electronic resources, it’s a good idea to invest in a physical Bible.

 

2. Explore different spiritual practices.

Spiritual practices (also called spiritual disciplines) help foster your intimacy with Christ and your personal transformation. Here are just a few spiritual practices to consider:

  • Sabbath 
  • Gratitude
  • Worship
  • Journaling
  • Retreat
  • Silence
  • Community
  • Hospitality
  • Small Group
  • Humility
  • Fasting
  • Prayer

 

Crown College offers many opportunities to integrate these disciplines into your life and help you maintain your spiritual well being, including chapel services, life groups, community service, and various campus ministries.

 

3. Plug into a local church or campus ministry.

Just like exercise is more fun with friends … Faith works the same way! We need each other. 

 

Find a local body of believers and do life together. That means sharing meals, praying for each other, and supporting anyone in need. Ideally, find a local church in your city and get involved. 

 

Additionally, consider joining a campus ministry. Check out these groups at Crown:

  • Diverse and Unified Souls of Christ
  • Student Nurses Christian Fellowship
  • Campus Ministries Discipleship Team
  • Worship Team
  • Men’s Ministry
  • Women’s Ministry
  • Faith + Science

 

Learn more about clubs on campus >

 

Growth in Holistic Health

 

One Step at a Time

Nourishing your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being in college is attainable. These three broad categories are interdependent. As you improve in one area, you’ll feel healthier and happier as a whole.

 

Here’s one final piece of advice: One step at a time.

 

Don’t bite off more than you can chew and go crazy with 10 different changes all at once. You’ll likely get overwhelmed and give up too soon. 

 

Instead, choose one idea from each category that’s desirable and reasonable for you. Give it at least 30 days, and then try adding another goal.

 

Remember: The journey to better health — body, soul, and spirit — is a marathon, not a sprint.

 

At Crown College, we’re in your corner. We want you to thrive in all areas so you can experience a full life and impact the world for Christ.

 

Learn more about Crown’s Culture >