Monday, 9 March 2015

De-stress During Exams in 8 Steps

Are you waking up at night worrying about forgetting an answer?

a. Duh

b. Please!

c. Sometimes

d. Help me!

Or do you lay awake at night stressing over whether you will make it to the exam centre on time? Have you lost your appetite? These days with the board examination ‘looming’ over high school students exercise is your best option, besides studying of course.

We are not talking about the hard core stuff – that stuff looks good on posters for motivation during the exam! (We totally get you) ‘What is the point of exercising NOW when I didn’t bother all year’, you ask?

To put it simply, ‘exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make people happy’ (in Elle’s words from Legally Blonde). Besides exercise can help improve your focus and sleep pattern. Some amount of physical activity is better than doing nothing. 

In addition to the preparation time of a couple of months, exams that spread out over two weeks can be extremely exhausting. Therefore we suggest you squeeze in at least 15 to 20 minutes of workout each day. That’s not much, is it? Instead of plunking yourself in front of the telly as a break from books, you can work those muscles and stay active. Studying for long stretches can affect your concentration hence students are advised to club their study breaks with a physical activity. This will help in concentrating better and keeping burnout at bay.

Here are eight things you can do this ‘exam season’:

1. Begin whenever you like – early morning or evening. The main reason you are doing this is to reduce stress, not be stressed at the thought of pulling a muscle.

2. Keep your workout manageable and enjoyable. You should want to exercise everyday up until your exams are on.

3. Be slow and steady. Increase the amount and frequency gradually.

4. Opt for light aerobics or cardio (running, jogging), basic flexibility and stretching exercises. It is advisable to use one’s own body weight instead of hitting the gym for circuit or weight training. At this age, your own body can be an effective training tool for push-ups and sit-ups. Grab that I-pod and hit play on your favourite playlist.

5. Doing yoga early morning is a very good idea. Pick a spot in the park and head out as the sun rises. The morning air will help you de-stress and calm your mind. Yoga will help in improving muscle movement and in turn it will ensure that you don’t get too tired from writing. Back exercises will prevent back aches from sitting too long at your desk or during the exam.

6. If exercising or yoga is not your thing, play a sport. It will give you the physical activity your body needs but be sure not to go overboard or it can tire you out. Sports like cricket, football or tennis are some options to consider.

7. Eat well – stress of the exam can make you crave for carbohydrates and fatty food items. Eat healthy and in balanced proportions. You can pig out once exams are over and then some!

8. Eat small meals and eat them frequently. Studying for exams does not mean you give up on food and feel guilty about chomping on your favourite meal. Let food be your motivation!

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