Health Hacks: Tips and Tricks for MA Students
If you’re going back to school to become a medical assistant (or any other kind of healthcare worker, for that matter) you might sometimes be surprised by the effect the workload has on you. Suddenly classes, assignments, homework, and studying are all part of your schedule, and that might be on top of a job you’re holding down at the same time. Going back to school (which, we want to emphasize, is totally worth it) can potentially take a toll on your health. Avoid that. Working in healthcare shouldn’t be unhealthy. These are a few tips for keeping healthy when you’re a healthcare student.
Related Resource: So You Want to Make a Difference? Be a Medical Assistant
Stress is the silent enemy of the college student. The sudden infusion of more work, more information, and more things into your schedule can be enough to wear down even the most studious and enthusiastic of healthcare students.
But stress can be managed. Don’t think about your studies as one big thing you have to do. If you think about something as one gigantic task, it looks insurmountable. Instead, break things into smaller jobs you know you can accomplish. Study and learn things one item at a time and have a support system. Coordinate with other students and methodically go through the material together. If you look at everything you need to study to become a medical assistant, it’s overwhelming. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Tackle the small parts that you know you can handle.
Related Resource: Where Being a Medical Assistant Can Take You
Remember to exercise
Even in the midst of everything you have to do while studying, it’s important to keep exercising. The CDC recommends at least 2.5 hours of exercise a week for most adults, with at least two days where you exercise all major muscle groups. As a student, you might not necessarily have time to hit the gym or train for a marathon, but you can still incorporate exercise into your daily life.
Make the most of walking. Take the stairs. If you commute by bus, get off a few stops early and walk a few extra blocks. This will give you a little extra cardio and more time to think before class. Find some time to do physical activities like hiking, swimming, or bike riding. This might sound like a tall order for a student, but resist the urge to collapse in front of the television all weekend. You need to relax, but you also need to move.
Sometimes exercise itself can be relaxing. After days of using your mind, reading, and studying, it can be freeing to exercise. Sometimes your brain is exhausted, and the best thing you can do for it is give it a break while you jog or lift weights. After exercising your body, you can nourish your mind once again.
Related Resource: The Origins of Medical Assisting
Plan meals and sleep
Meal planning will save you a world of trouble when you’re in school. Cooking your food for the week on Sunday evening will save you time (which helps with stress levels) and the trouble of having to make decisions each day about what you’ll have for lunch. You’ll just grab some of the healthy food you made and stored in a reusable container, pop it in your backpack, and eat that. Having food on you will also prevent you from eating fast food between classes. If you have food on you, you’ll be more inclined to eat it.
Between meals, stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle in your backpack and around campus, and drink that before you reach for something sugary. At the end of the day, sleep. When you’re in school, sleep can sometimes feel like an indulgence or like something that’s keeping you from your work. It’s not that at all, though. It’s an essential part of staying healthy. Mark out time each night to sleep and remind yourself that, at that time, it’s your job to rest.
Being a student is demanding, as is being a healthcare professional. But with some forethought and dedication, you can make it through your studies, get a job you’ll love, and thrive at it without sacrificing your health.
For more about our medical assistant, nursing, or other healthcare programs, visit our programs page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!