Friday, December 10, 2010

How to: cope with stress

So final examination period have started for most of us, hence the attention-deprived blog... However, I realized a lot of people have problems coping with the stress of exams and so this post is dedicated to the simple things you can do to take a load off and de-stress.

  • Everytime you feel like you're about to have a panic attack, step AWAY from the books and give yourself some time to relax: take a bubble bath or light up candles and surround them around you while listening to soothing music (nothing that pumps you up or else you're going to feel like going out instead of sitting at home and studying) try some classical music such as Beethoven or Tchaikovsky; or one of my personal fave relaxing songs: Empty streets by Late Night Alumni
  • Do some sports to relieve stress: go for a run, do some yoga, or if you're REALLY stressed do some kickboxing. As little as 10-20 minutes will make you feel so much better.
  • Eating some dark chocolate as well as blueberries reduces stress levels. Mix some blueberries with yoghurt and honey and automatically feel relieved afterwards.
  • Sleep! Rest is one of the most important things you need: After memorizing study materials, it will be stored in your short term memory, only after you sleep and revise will you have stored that information into your long term memory. Studying material ON the day of the exam will not help you at all, which brings me to my next point...
  • ORGANIZE YOURSELF! Organize your study schedule so that you are prepared 2 days before your exam so that all you have to do on the day of the exam is revise and read through the material. Not only will this de-stress you but it will boost your confidence knowing that you have done everything beforehand. (Trust me on this one)
  • Do NOT consume too much caffeine. Yes, this is the one thing us, students, cannot bear to not have by our side while studying, but it is one of the worst things to do. Too much caffeine will affect your sleeping patterns, which is what you need a lot of during this period and can stress you out even more. Need a burst of energy? Eat a piece of chocolate or eat some fruits, mother nature didn't give us these natural substances for no reason...
  • Take a break from studying and call one of your good friends to have a chat or a good laugh, this will help you out especially if your friend is going through the same thing.
  • Breathe. It is hard to believe that something as simple as the action of breathing will help lower your stress levels, but try this: sit in a comfortable spot, whether it's your couch or your bed or even the chair you're sitting on right now as you're reading this. Straighten up your posture, put one hand on your stomach, close your eyes and inhale and exhale slowly up to 10 breaths.
  • It is required that after every 45 minutes of studying to take a 10-minute break. So take those 10 minutes to do the complete opposite of studying. Turn up the music and jump up and down in your living room to shake off all the unwanted stress. (Confession: yes, I have tried this)
  • Last but not least, confidence is the key. Have faith in yourself and do the best that you can do. Don't leave any questions blank, answer them with whatever information flows through your head, whether it makes sense or not, one mark makes a difference. Leave the exam knowing you did all you could.
Out of all these 10 tips you're surely bound to find one that helps you, I hope.
Good luck to all my fellow student peers! I hope you all ace your exams! (And I'll try to do the same)

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