By Nicole Velkoski
Stress Reducer Tips
To help manage your stress:
- Exercise regularly, even on holidays
- Build, re-build or gather your social support network
- Stick with good nutrition and regular meal times
- Set priorities
- Think positive
- Try relaxation methods
- Seek help
Study Tip 1
Tip to get through that procrastinating and through those endless pages of reading: set a 15 minute alarm, read for that 15 minutes and then break for five minutes, make sure you set that 5 minute alarm, once that five minutes is up, pick up that book or article and turn on your 15 minute alarm again, soon enough your motivation will be peaking and you would have gotten through the hardest part of your procrastinating!
Study Tip 2
Teach someone else the material you’re trying to learn. Teaching someone else is such an effective way for you to better understand the material.
Teaching is the best test (before the actual test) to know whether or not YOU know the concepts.
Study Tip 3
Breathe and Stretch while you study!
Breathing techniques are one of the quickest and easiest ways to relieve tension in the body and calm the mind. By taking deliberately deep, slow breaths the body undergoes a relaxation response: the heart rate slows, muscles relax and blood pressure drops. Try five minutes of abdominal breathing (focusing on filling the air in the stomach area) or 7:7:7 breathing: breath in for a count of seven, hold your breath for seven seconds, breath out for seven seconds.
Stretching the body will also help relieve muscle tension, increase circulation and focus your brain. Enrol in a gentle yoga class for a guided stretching session, or download a breathing app (we recommend Headspace), then practise the techniques at home. It’s important to take a break from sitting at your desk. Not only will it keep you relaxed and alert, it’ll help you sleep better, too – all of which leads to more effective studying and exam performance.
Study Tip 4
Take breaks outside!
It can be tempting to hibernate in the library, on campus or even study from the comfort of your bed. However, research shows that simply being outside lowers stress levels, even after just five minutes in the open air. Find your nearest green space next time you need to take a study break and see if you feel less anxious and more clear-headed. Take your shoes off, lay on the grass, or park up on a bench, whatever option is available, to allow yourself those couple of minutes to unwind and reconnect
Study Tip 5
When you’re feeling pent up and anxious about your studies and exams, the pressure can feel overwhelming. A really great way to get a handle on the situation is to yarn up with friends or family about what you are going through. If it’s all getting too much at your desk, take time out to call a good friend or parent and talk out your study stresses. You’ll feel so much better just for voicing your worries and will come off the phone with newfound focus and determination.
If studying alone is turning you into a ball of stress, find a friend to be your study buddy or join a university study group. Working with others in close proximity should boost your mood and make you focus on the task at hand, and you’ll be less likely to get distracted by social media, daydreaming or worrying about upcoming exams and deadlines.
Study Tip 6
Go to sleep at roughly the same time each night.
Stop playing with electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed.
Try not to study in bed. If you need to nap during the day, try and grab a quick 20 minute power nap!