School holidays ‘to-do’ list

For the students among you, after months of classes and exams, the year-end break has finally arrived.

Many of us tend to spend the school holidays catching up on TV shows and movies, play games, hang out with friends or simply laze around at home.

However, there are actually productive things to do during those weeks.

In fact, with so much free time at hand, you can pick up a new hobby or skill, or even prepare yourself for further studies by visiting education fairs.

Here are a few of the many other ways to spend your school holidays:

Gain new knowledge

There are things in this world that you may not even be aware of because you’ve been concentrating so much on your studies, and therefore the school holidays is a great time to expand your horizon.

You can go to your old school to read books and magazines, as well as talking to people who are knowledgeable in your subject of interest.

And thanks to the World Wide Web, you can explore articles, documentaries and numerous other educational materials online.

Although it can be tricky navigating through countless online information, it would help if you focus on a few topics that you’re most interested in learning more about.

Travel

When it comes to travel, you should seriously consider your ‘backyard’ as your next destination, especially when it’s a road less travelled.

If flying overseas is out of the question, Malaysia alone has so many to offer in terms of things to see and do, which, lest we forget, other people fly halfway around the world to experience.

The same goes for travelling within our home Sarawak, which is internationally known for its culture, adventure and nature tourism.

As we’ve mentioned before, you can gain invaluable experience by travelling regardless of the destination; from improving creativity and communication to broadening life values and perspectives.

Work part-time

The school holidays can be an opportune time for you to learn financial independence and gain work experience, which will be beneficial when you apply for a full-time position in the future.

Having a part time job also tests your ability to manage time, in terms of adapting and adhering to a work schedule.

Additionally, you’ll be able to build your network through colleagues you’ll encounter at your workplace.

Improve your health

If you haven’t been taking good care of yourself throughout your studies, the school holidays would be the best time to start practising a healthier lifestyle.

Eat healthily, exercise regularly and make sure you get enough sleep; then ensure that you carry on this lifestyle by the time you go back to school or enter into college.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2Bywagd

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Healthy eating habits for students

(Above) Always make time for breakfast, which can be as simple as a bowl of cereal with milk.

Between assignments, final exams and maintaining a social life, if you’re a student, healthy eating probably may not be high on your list of priorities.

However, you should realise that poor eating habits at this period of your life – as you transition into independent university life – could cause problems further down the road.

Your unhealthy eating habits could eventually lead to insufficient nutrients in your diet, cause fatigue, and even result in problems in learning.

In Malaysia, hypertension, diabetes and heart problems are among the non-communicable diseases linked to unhealthy lifestyles. So, if you thought that skipping meals and eating way too much junk food has no effect on you, think again!

Adopting healthy eating practices does not have to be painfully boring and by just following these few simple tips, you might just be on the right track.

Never skip breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it helps improve concentration and performance during lectures. And while it might be tempting to skip breakfast because you are in a rush, it is not wise to do so.

A study conducted by Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM) indicated that those who skipped breakfast show low physical activity level. So, if you do find yourself facing a busy day, just make sure to a have a hardy, healthy breakfast.

Plan your meals

Apart from the health benefits of planning your meals, making your own packed lunch every day will likely be more cost-friendly than grabbing something during your lunch break.

When planning your meal, try to base it around simple things that are healthy, within your budget, and are also easy to prepare.

Smart snacking

It’s normal for students to be snacking in between lessons and study sessions because the brain needs glucose or energy to function. However, this may not be an easy thing to do, as most students would prefer unhealthy snacks.

Instead of having instant noodles or chips, why not opt for healthier alternatives including fruits such as papayas and bananas, fresh vegetables, wholesome grains, milk and soy drinks for a memory boost.

Also, consuming dark chocolate before a test or a study session has been claimed to help relax the brain as studies showed that it helped to reduce blood pressure and promote blood flow to the brain.

Drink plenty of fluids

According to a study by researchers from the University of East London, consuming water has physiological effects on the cognitive performance of students. Basically, that means ‘drink more water, get better results’.

The study highlighted that drinking water before exams helped alleviate anxiety (while those who were thirsty during exams were more easily distracted) thus allowing them to concentrate more and perform.

That being said, carrying a bottle of water seems handy, especially during late night study sessions.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2EV3wG4

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Why we should strive to stay fit and healthy

In our studies or career, we sometimes tend to push ourselves beyond our physical, mental and emotional limits, thinking that we’re capable of overcoming any and all challenges.

As a result, our health and wellbeing end up taking the brunt of this push, and our bodies are forced to endure stresses that can be detrimental in the long haul.

Still, it’s never too late to start our journey to become healthy and with time, patience and commitment, incorporating healthy habits into our lifestyle is attainable.

If you think that adopting a healthy lifestyle is just about trying to look good or to lose the extra weight, you should think about the bigger benefits it brings.

Gain more energy

Last year, a workplace survey conducted by AIA Vitality showed that despite working long hours, Malaysians are the least productive.

The survey found that their low productivity resulted from a lack of proper diet, exercise and sleep, as well as experiences with work-related stress.

This suggests that our performance at work and in life is dependent on our energy level accumulated from what we eat, how active we are physically, how long we sleep, and how we manage stress.

Therefore, it’s vital to take care of yourself so that you have enough energy to handle whatever tasks at hand.

Build confidence

Establishing a healthy lifestyle can involve setting goals for improvement, for instance eating certain healthy food for the first time or running at a distance further than your previous record.

Besides the physical benefits, achieving these goals will help to boost your confidence and self-esteem, thereby strengthening your mental and emotional health.

Numerous studies have also shown that having healthy habits ensure a healthy brain by reducing stress and risk of depression, plus improve learning, judgement and thinking capabilities.

Save money

Practising healthy habits boosts overall health, meaning you could lower your chances of having cardiovascular disease, hypertension and other life-threatening illnesses.

This also means that you can keep your healthcare expenses down, allowing you to have sufficient finances for other commitments like bill payments or pleasures like travel.

Live for the future

Above all, staying fit and healthy is about your longevity. It means having more time to achieve your life goals, be it succeeding in your studies and career, or establishing your own business.

Accomplishing this, however, requires prioritising and being responsible for your own health and wellbeing.

So, eat right, get moving, sleep well and don’t take your health for granted.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2Bj3O69

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels.

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