Stressing out over exams? Don’t let pressure get the better of you. Why not follow our top 10 survival tips to help combat your panics and max up your chances of success.
Drink LOADS of water throughout the day
. Water keeps you cool and gets you
thinking fast which is crucial when revising for those all important exams. Try and
drink at least 3 pints (8 glasses) of water per day otherwise you’re likely to become
dehydrated which in turn may slow down your thought process. Research shows that
by topping up your water levels over just two weeks you can bring about better focus
and more importantly better results!
Cut down on caffeine.
Caffeine is great every now and again for the occasional late
night revision session, but not all the time. Too much caffeine (coffee, tea, coke or
energy drinks) raises your heart rate, stops you from sleeping and can make you feel
shaky and nervous. So keep it low, ideally no more than four cups of instant coffee a
day and after 6pm drink decaffeinated drinks.
You’ll work better if you eat first thing, nothing too heavy though. A
healthy breakfast will set you up for the day!
Keep up the vitamins.
Treat yourself to some healthy juices, smoothies or herbal tea.
When you get stressed you’re more likely to get run down so food packed with
vitamins will help chill out your nervous system and build up your resistance to
Eat feel good food.
Heard of tryptophan? You can find it in chicken, turkey, fish,
cheese and eggs. It can also be found in milk, beans, peas, soya, nuts, avocado and
pineapple. It’s part of a protein that triggers off the serotonin in your brain to chill
you out and help you focus. Food rich in iron such as egg yolks, baked beans, pulses,
green veg, apricots, turkey and beef are proven brain boosters. If you’re low on iron
then less oxygen gets to the brain and it doesn’t work as well as it could – these help
to top this up!
Eat omega 3s.
Ultimate brain boosters. Find them in oily fish such as salmon, fresh
tuna, mackerel, sardines and anchovies. They get you thinking sharp and fast and
chill you out. So cook up a tasty fish main meal or snack.
Snack on the right stuff.
When you’re stressed out snacks can do it. You’ll want to
be eating small things at odd times. So get stuff that keeps you going and works for
you while you’re taking time out. Like dips and crudités. A tasty wrap or sandwich.
Toasted fruit bread and peanut butter, plates of nuts, dates, sunflower and pumpkin
seeds, raisins, chopped fresh fruit and veg, orange segments sprinkled with cinnamon.
Take time out to exercise.
Exercise is the best stress buster and anything goes.
Press ups, a quick run, even working out to some music in your room – it all helps to
clear the brain and make you feel better. Learn to breath deeply – it whacks loads of
oxygen to your brain to bring down your adrenalin levels and stops your mind going
blank. Put your hands on your hips, move them up to find the bottom of your ribcage,
put slight pressure on the ribs. Now take a deep silent breath in through your nose, as
you do it make the ribs push out against your hands so the rib cage is expanding
sideways – not pulling up. When the ribs have expanded as much as possible let them
come back slowly into position again. Now breath out slowly to a count of 15 in your
head and repeat this 3 or 4 times. This should chill you out and make you far calmer.
Get loads of sleep, it’s the ultimate stress release but hard if you’re uptight or
if the exam is looming! Try deep breathing as mentioned in tip eight, this should help
calm you. Caffeine could be the problem if you’re not sleeping – check that out. Eat
to chill out in the evening – stuff like pasta’s great, you could also accompany this
with a milky drink before bed.
Eat tactically on exam day.
Give yourself all the help you can. Don’t try eating or
drinking anything new, don’t OD on coffee and make sure to take water into the
exams. For morning exams try baked beans on toast, egg on toast, fruit yoghurt or a
banana-based smoothie if you can’t face anything solid. For afternoon exams don’t
try anything too heavy so stick with a light soup, wrap or sarnie. For speaking exams
avoid coffee which can dry the throat and make you more nervous, dairy can clog up
your throat, sit and do some light breathing to keep you calm.
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