Feeling tired, insane, unloved?

We all know it’s tough to keep those New Year’s resolutions, especially as a busy student. The Vanguard has compiled advice from experts around the university on how to eat right, lose that extra weight, stay sane and find a date–even with classes and a job.

We all know it’s tough to keep those New Year’s resolutions, especially as a busy student.

Instead of spending a couple hours of the week working out at the gym, students are writing English papers or trudging through textbooks for their business classes. While students could be devoting time to maintaining personal relationships, they are too busy working a job to pay for tuition, or caring for a young child at home.

The Vanguard has compiled advice from experts around the university on how to eat right, lose that extra weight, stay sane and find a date–even with classes and a job.

How to get a healthy body

Eating on a budget and with severe time constraints is never an easy task. According to a study in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, junk food costs more than fruits and vegetables and has more calories. The study’s focus on food prices sheds light on why the highest rates of obesity are found in low-income groups, which could include many college students.

Scott Fabian, strength and conditioning coach for Portland State athletics, said the key to eating healthy on a budget is planning meals ahead of time.

“If you eat out every meal, it gets really expensive,” Fabian said. “That’s why you should plan meals out.”

Fabian suggests that busy students eat small portions throughout the day to continually stimulate the body’s metabolism, which he said is the key to weight loss.

Exercise is another method for remaining fit. Fabian said Portland State students should consider enrolling in a physical education, weight training or cardio class and should stay active for at least 30 minutes to an hour each day.

“Lifting weights is a way to lose weight, because more muscle means more weight loss,” he said.

While it is important to consistently exercise and eat healthy, Fabian said having a “cheat day,” what he calls rewarding yourself with a sweet treat, is crucial to remaining disciplined.

“It’s like playing with the mind a little,” he said.

How to get a healthy mind

The numerous roles Portland State students can play–as students, professionals, mothers or fathers, husbands or wives–factor into high stress levels.

Because a large number of students at PSU are not of the traditional college age, many are funding their own education. This results in financial anxiety, Portland State’s most common form of stress, according to Layton Borkan, interim director of counseling and psychological services at the Center for Student Health and Counseling.

As older students attend class, work, and tend to family responsibilities, their levels of stress can increase.

“With multiple roles, when the activity level increases, the amount of stress increases,” Borkan said.

In addition to financial stress and the sheer number of roles students can play, performance anxiety is another common stressor that derives from students feeling they are constantly being judged at school.

Borkan suggests students have a good plan for using their time and follow it closely to alleviate stress they are experiencing.

“Students should have a certain time they go to bed and wake up and eat,” Borkan said. “This helps to stabilize life.”

Taking care of the body is another strategy for ensuring the mind is clear. For this, she recommends regular exercise and eliminating habits such as using alcohol or other substances to momentarily reduce stress, because they actually perpetuate stress in the end.

“Students often don’t consider what is below the chin,” Borkan said. “But taking care of the body always helps the mind.”

Another recommendation Borkan has for managing stress is achieving a state of mindfulness, where the present is the primary focus and the past and future are not considered. Also, students should utilize campus resources such as the Undergraduate Advising and Support Center, professors’ office hours and the financial aid office for advice and clarification, Borkan said.

How to maintain relationships with family and friends

Trouble with managing various roles in life, such as work, family and academics, affects many college students.

“It is a very difficult problem,” said Eileen Brennan, associate dean of social work, “because work can be 24/7 and school can also be 24/7.”

Brennan said while students often have very little time to commit to relationships, there are a few tricks for maintaining close ties with friends and loved ones.

“One way is making supportive relationships a priority,” she said. “Realize that the people who care about you will be around well after school is over. So set aside time to be with them and renew your relationships.”

It sounds simple, but staying in touch with family and friends is vital to keeping relationships afloat. Brennan suggests sending a quick e-mail or leaving a voice message every couple of days, even if it is just to tell someone that you were thinking about him or her. This is done so “things don’t bottle up” between family members or friends and communication continues to flow, Brennan said.

“People can’t be turned on and off,” she said. “So touch base with them all along the line.”

Another method for maintaining relationships is inviting family and friends into your life, away from home. Students should try to bring loved ones to campus to enjoy a film at Fifth Avenue Cinema, a tour through the library or a sporting event, Brennan said. And just talking about something learned in class is another way to share your life with others.

How to get and keep a partner

Some people meet their partners at a bar; others meet them at social gatherings. But for some students, it may be hard to start–and keep–a relationship on their busy schedules.

Knowing what you want before you start a relationship is important, said Aimee Shattuck, former coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center and current interim director for Student Activities and Leadership Programs. Some may be looking for just sex, others a long-term committed relationship, but being clear to yourself and your partner is key, she said.

Another tip Shattuck has for mate seekers is that they should set priorities. If the number one priority of a student is to do well in classes, they may not be able to jumpstart a serious relationship.

“Think about how much time you have to devote to a new relationship and hooking up,” she said. Just because you’re in college, Shattuck said, doesn’t mean you have to hook up all the time.

Students should try and meet people who have the same interests as them through student groups or class, Shattuck said. Class is a great way to get to know a particular “hottie,” because students have 10 whole weeks to sit next to them, she said.

They should try to avoid merely meeting people at parties where drinking is involved, and while it may work for some-Shattuck met her husband at a party–she said that being drunk is not the only way to hook up with someone.

When starting a new relationship, set time expectations so that homework and other school priorities can be taken care of, and expect your partner to adhere to those expectations, Shattuck said.

-Stover E. Harger III contributed to this article.

Tips and Tricks for healthy living

The top four places to meet people on campus, according to Shattuck and various students she spoke with:

1. Class2. Student group events3. Coffee shops4. Work

Fabian recommends students try to perform an exercise for each body section, giving the body an overall workout. Here are the body sections and the corresponding workout:

Chest–bench press Legs–squats Arms–bicep and tricep curlsBack–back extensions to strengthen lower backCore–abdominal crunches and abdominal twists

To maintain relationships with family and friends, Brennan offers the following tips:

-Keep in touch, with no long lapses between contact-Set aside time to enjoy company-Let family and friends into your personal life

Here are some activities to help calm down and reduce stress in your life:

-Exercising-Listening to music-Pursuing a hobby-Reading a book-Spiritual pursuits-Chatting with family and friends