Looking after yourself
By now you have possibly realised that stress is a real thing. When you are stressed you can have trouble finishing (or starting) assessment tasks, get anxious about exams and feel run-down and less energetic.
During times of study it is essential to look after yourself and manage your time efficiently. It is important to revise class work and complete assessment tasks, but it is just as important to spend time with your friends and family. You may also have a part time job and need to fit in work with study.
For positive wellbeing study needs to be balanced with other aspects of life. Consider these steps for positive wellbeing:
- Sleep well – enjoy your sleep and have enough of it! At least 8-10 hours sleep is encouraged for adolescence. Turn off all electronic equipment (yes including your phone) and have a dark, cool room to sleep.
- Eat well – you have heard of a balanced diet and its importance in maintaining a healthy body. Eating healthy foods will keep your mind healthy too. This means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and remembering that carbohydrate rich foods such as breads and cereals are energy foods. Foods high in proteins such as meats, nuts and green leafy vegetables are great for brain power!
- Drink, drink, drink – water that is! Our bodies are made up of over 70% water and our brains don’t function properly without it. Especially in the warmer months drink around 1-2 litres a day. Signs of dehydration include lack of concentration and headaches. Water also helps regulate our body temperature.
- Be active – some of us love exercising, others dread the thought of getting on a bike or going for a run! Remember, exercise can be fun! Going to the beach and catching waves or even walking to a friend’s house instead of driving does count as exercise. Another idea is to mix social life with exercise. Get a group of friends together and start a ‘boot camp’ or competitive sport together.
- Have study plans – Plan when and what you are going to study. You may have a daily roster of subjects. For example you may study for Maths and Japanese on Mondays and Wednesdays’ with Food technology and science Thursdays. Another idea is to have a group study afternoon once a week. You could even start your own homework club!
- Socialise – Yes it is healthy to hang out with friends too. Spend time talking with friends not only about school but personal conversation also. Sometimes we spend too much time stressing about assignments and exams that we tend not to see our friends (although some of us do the opposite and this can be very destructive to final results).
- Keep it in perspective – Everybody has their priorities and we don’t share the same priorities as one another. You yourself will know if you are spending too much time socialising and not studying or working too much and not sleeping long enough hours. With planning and routine you will prepare yourself for exams to come.