Run-down or do you just need to calm down?

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How can you define being run-down? Has a doctor ever diagnosed run-down syndrome? The truth is being run-down is not a one symptom diagnosis. It is an accumulation of so many things that leave you feeling in desperate need of a couple of months in hibernation.

Everybody has been there. As soon as you pass those idyllic carefree days of childhood, you are faced with the fact that you will at some point be completely worn out by the stresses that life can bring. What’s even more stressful, speaking on behalf of students, is knowing that if life can leave us feeling run-down now, when we’re potentially living the ‘best years’ of our lives, then what will it be like in 10 years time when we’re faced with more financial and relationship strains?

When you are run-down, it can be a result of stress, anxiety and pressure. This could ultimately lead to your immune system shutting down and announcing “uh-uh, no way, I’m not fighting anymore,” and then hey presto, the result is a month long cold, never ending lethargy and that voice in your head that screams “give up!”

So what’s the answer? Don’t give in to that desire to give up. Sounds simple, I know, but it is difficult. Every time I feel run-down I want to run to the nearest doctor for a quick fix diagnosis. But the best way of healing yourself and fighting against the run-down bug, is by asking yourself what has made you feel like this, and working around how to avoid the situation again. As strong and healthy students we don’t need to depend on pills and diagnosis to feel better, we just need to help ourselves.

It is so easy to shrug off the simplest things, those rules, which could make us so much happier and prevent us from feeling run-down. The rules are simple, but in order to see their true potential we need to stick with them, and not give up.

Rule 1: Exercise

Exercise not only for toned abs, but for your well being. You can get that powerful endorphin rush from even the shortest stroll around campus.

Rule 2: Eat well

I know you have probably seen the five-a-day slogan too many times to count, so don’t dwell on it. What are really important are the simple rules of balance and swap. Don’t go into drastic diet mode, which can make anyone feel miserable, but just think balance; carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Don’t stress yourself over unnecessary detail-by-detail nutritional information but think lightly. Have chicken with your pasta, or a handful of seeds with your cereal. The second rule is swap. Swap that chocolate bar for a banana or that full fat latte for a green tea and trust me you will feel the benefits.

Rule 3: Switch off

Switch off your computer. Switch off your TV. Switch off your mobile. Switch off your IPod. Now, lie there… weird isn’t it. The 21st century has brought so much communication and easy access to entertainment which has left us forgetting the true meaning of peace and quiet. I know this sounds a little zen but it can really open your mind to matters beyond the material. I’m not asking you to delete your Facebook account but just try a day without it.

The ultimate answer to fighting that run-down bug is to recognise it before it breaks you. Learn how to control it before it leaves you in a pit of depression. Know what makes you happy and learn to switch off from anxieties that can only make your worse. You can do it, the answer is self-help.

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