So it’s that time of the year again. If you’re a university or school student this means exams and along with that comes with the added stress, late nights studying and copious amounts of comfort food eaten. Below are some tips to help make the exam period as stress free as possible.
1. Move your body
Getting up in the morning and exercising will not only improve your mood, energy and mindset but also improve your memory and concentration for the rest of the day. It has also been shown that people who start the day with exercise are more productive and have more energy than people that don't exercise.
2. Take a break
Every hour get up and move. Walk around the house, go for a walk around the block, get a study snack (good study snacks are detailed below). Do something other than studying for 5 minutes so that you can then re-focus.
3. Get enough sleep
Along with feeling tired and irritable, not getting enough sleep has been shown to reduce memory and concentration. Also affecting your mood and motivation to exercise and food choices throughout the day
4. Eat right
Eating the right foods can not only stop you from binging on high sugar, energy dense snacks but also help you brain and cognitive function. Ensure you get enough Omega 3 such as nuts, avocado and fish and reduce intake of saturated fats and processed foods such as lollies, sweets, biscuits and cakes as they'll just make you daydream about chocolate when you should be studying.
5. Don’t reward yourself with food
Going on from above, the same goes for rewarding yourself with food. Try not and get in the mindset of, ok if I read these 3 chapters of the textbook I can then have some chocolate. Instead think, ok if I read over these lectures then I’ll take the dog for a walk a much better option for you both.
6. Do something for yourself
Everyday whether it be just for 10 minutes do something unrelated to study that is just for you like reading a book, take a relaxing bath or watching an episode of your favourite TV show. This will help you switch out of study stress mode and will make sure that your body isn’t always high on cortisol which can be a contributing factor to excess weight gain (there is a reason why its called the fresher 15, most people put on 15 pounds during the first year of uni, quite a bit due to alcohol but also to exam and study stress).
7. Remember to breathe
Exams aren’t the be all and end all. At the end of the day remember to actually breathe and that there are more important things in life than exams. I’m not saying don’t study for them and fail, but when you feel yourself starting to get so stressed out try to just remember that it is only one exam and that all you can ask of yourself is to do the best you can.