Setting up a successful study practise for yourself and/or your teen can take time, persistence and patience but once established, it is a valuable time management and stress management skill that can be carried across to all areas of life.
The trick is to make it work for you, every family is different with different time constraints, routines and priorities so developing a practise that fits into your lifestyle (not everybody else’s) is the key to success.
Below are some of my top tips for managing stress and anxiety around study and the exams themselves.
Create a Conducive Study Space Create a space that is conducive to productivity and success. Get rid of clutter, mess and distractions. Turn off your phone, TV and any other electronic equipment that will distract you from your goals. Keep your phone out of your study space so as to not be distracted by any “streaks”, flashes of light and/or buzzing noises.
Plan Ahead (visual schedule) (But not too far ahead.) Creating a visual plan of what and when to study can be a great aid for most of us but for our perfectionists and “avoiders” this can cause more stress. Plan just far enough ahead to be productive and to feel confident with what you have to do.
Schedule in some time for Fun and Exercise Make sure you include some downtime in your schedule or you risk the chance of burnout. Social activities and exercise can encourage the release of those feel-good endorphins, and boost energy, performance and productivity. There are plenty of resources on YouTube for a quick yoga workout, take a brisk walk or use that punching bag or exercise bike.
Think Positively Reframe those negative thoughts and speak in the present and positive tense.
Meditate Meditation does not have to be hard and does not have to involve sitting in the lotus position chanting “Om”. Once again there are plenty of free quality resources on YouTube with Jason Stephenson being a favourite of ours here for easy to follow guided relaxation meditations.
Turn off your phone
Take regular Brain Breaks Step away from the computer, stretch, go for a walk, drink a glass of water. Research shows that people who regularly take breaks are more focused and efficient when they resume work.
Watch your diet and get enough sleep Eat a balanced healthy diet and get a good multivitamin for extra assurance. Develop a good bedtime routine that promotes quality sleep. This includes limiting the use of electronic equipment before bed, ideally switch off the phone, Ipad, Laptop at least 1.5 hours before retiring.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol (yes you can)
Breathe When we are stressed our heart rate quickens and our body slips into fight or flight mode. Try this technique to slow down your breathing, stop those irrational thoughts and to re-engage your rational mind. 4 Count Breathing. Inhale for a count of four seconds, hold the inhale for a count of four seconds, exhale for a count of four seconds, hold the exhale for a count of four seconds. Repeat three more times.
Turn off your phone
Australian Bush Flower Essences Bush Flower Essences work on the mind, body and spirit, and are obtained by extracting the healing vibrational quality from the most evolved part of the plant – the flowers. They work on an emotional level, harmonizing negative feelings and belief patterns held in the subconscious mind. There are two general blends that I would recommend to help around studying and exams, Emergency Essence which has a calming effect and Cognis Essence which gives clarity and focus. For our Teens, I would also suggest taking a look at Adol Essence which helps to balance the hormones. I can make these blends up here for you with Colloidal Silver as the preservative (instead of alcohol like the shop bought blends). They are all natural and cost effective at $20 for approx: 4 weeks supply.
For help in devising an individualised study plan that will fit into your lifestyle, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0401 561923.
Good luck and did I mention, turn off your phone!
© copyright. May not be reproduced without acknowledgement to the author. Written by Kim Norton 21st May 2018.