From my personal experience of being a full time international self-funded student I can definitely say – feeling good is a key component for being successful in all that you do.
But how on earth do I feel good when there are so many responsibilities and limitations? To be honest, I am still figuring out the definite answer to this meaningful question. However, after 3 years of trial and error, I have learned some practical principles that I want to share with you today.
Kathleen M. Matuska & Charles H. Christiansen (2008) have written about realizing the importance of lifestyle patterns in pursuing wellbeing. They proposed a 5-dimensional model of a balanced lifestyle, Here is a summary:
- Dimension 1: Biological health and physical safety
Physical health strongly affects emotional stability. Therefore 2 basic areas to focus on are regular exercise and eating habits. Many people know that, but they don't know why and how. 'Why'? It decreases your stress response, improves sleep, and contributes to better overall health. The reasons behind 'how' are more individualistic yet general rules prescribe at least 3 hours of intensive weekly workouts, and a balanced diet with 8 glasses of water daily. You can visit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/ for more information.
- Dimension 2: Rewarding and self-affirming relationships with others
Studies show a clear link between positive relationships and overall health status as well as stress resistance. In practical terms that means that you need a social group to belong to, to feel valued by and to receive valuable support from. Do not try to fit in, just be yourself and you will find people that will accept you as you are.
- Dimension 3: Feel interested, engaged, challenged, and competent
Competency and efficacy are closely linked to well-being and quality of life. You can call it an 'optimal state' when you are constantly stretching your level of competency and finding yourself being interested and motivated by new challenging goals and achievements. Try to set a stimulating goal for yourself every day. Remember, it does not have to be a grand challenge, simply something new that will make you step out of your comfort zone.
- Dimension 4: Create meaning and a positive personal identity
Finding meaningfulness every day will enrich your life and allow you to feel energized and enthusiastic. One of the techniques is to find 3 things to be grateful for every day and record them in a journal. Another important step to wellbeing is to accept yourself the way you are and love your uniqueness.
You can find the full model following this link https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14427591.2008.9686602?needAccess=true.
And finally, do not overcommit. We all have duties and responsibilities; the key is to re-evaluate your schedule and adjust it in a way that prioritises your wellbeing. Take it easy, one step at a time. In the end, the way you feel affects the way you act and the way you act determines the quality of your achievements (whatever those might be).