Students, Mindfulness 3 minute read

Our top tips to beat study stress at exam time

We know exam period can be a hectic time, so we’ve pulled together a list of tips and created a little Study program in the app to ease some of the stress study can induce.  Here they are.

1. Set goals, write lists and reward yourself

The most important part of goal setting is making sure they're realistic...let's be honest, you’re probably not going to nail half a textbook in a one hour block.

Get out a pen and paper (old school - we know) and write a list of everything you’re going to get through in the allocated time.  30 minute chunks probably work best for most people, work out what works best for you remembering most people’s attention generally maxes out at 50 minutes.

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If you get through what you set out to do strike it off your list and set yourself a reward.  You may get a piece of chocolate, to walk around your house, look at memes for five minutes - whatever floats your boat.  Just make sure you make it back to your list and then set yourself another realistic goal and reward. Repeat x 100 (or how many times you need!).

Don’t go too crazy though...you can’t be effective if you study for too long, your brain wasn’t designed for that and you could burn out. Be careful and be kind to yourself.


2. Put your phone away and turn off notifications

Did you know we humans spend an average of four hours a day on our phones? That boils down to 60 days a year on your phone. Woahhhh.

It’s not all bad.  This basically means you can turn that four hours into extra study time.  Plus scrolling Instagram can give you major FOMO...who wants to be studying when their mates are sipping coconuts in Bali?  Avoid your phone and avoid the FOMO.

Think you can multitask? It’s an urban myth that we’re more productive if we can master the ability to multitask. Hold up...what?

The constant attention switching required to manage two (or more!) competing tasks actually takes more mental energy than focusing on one thing at a time. It slows us down, making us less productive...but it makes sense when you consider it takes an average of 64 seconds to recover train of thought after checking an email or notification.

That means if we check our notifications every five minutes, we waste eight and a half hours per week. 

There you go, we just found you an extra eight and a half hours study time.  That’s over 12 hours a week extra just for putting your phone away and turning off notifications.

You can read more about taking a digital detox here.


3.  Set up a nice space to study

This is a given, but you’d be surprised how much your surroundings can impact how you feel.  

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First and foremost, make sure your study space is comfortable, quiet, tidy, and well-lit. Keep your desk organised, and keep away from distractions. 

Remember you don't always have to stay in the same spot too, go to a cafe, change it up!

Need some study beats?  Check out this Spotify playlist to get you in the mood.

4.  Meditate using our new Study Program

Your mind is absorbing so much information during this busy time and it needs to take breaks.

Check out our new Study Program in our FREE app.

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We’ve worked to compile a selection of meditations designed specifically to help you manage stress and overwhelm as well as access a state of relaxed focus, the mindset required for effective study and optimal performance.

While some stress can be a helpful motivator when preparing for exams, prolonged stress makes it difficult, if not impossible, to prepare and perform at your best as it affects the ability to focus well and think clearly.

Given the negative impact that chronic stress can have on our ability to study and perform well, we often get caught in a vicious cycle of becoming stressed about being stressed which only serves to increase our stress levels further!

So give the program a crack and see how you go, and remember stopping to take five minutes out for your mind is never a waste of time!

5.  Drink plenty of water and eat healthy snacks

This goes without saying...and sorry to sound like your mum but to keep your brain functioning at its peak, ensure that you are eating well, and drinking plenty of water.

Plan ahead and source yourself some healthy snacks so you're not reaching for the biscuit jar.  

Load up on brain food like;

  • Oily fish
  • Eggs
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Peanut butter
  • Fresh fruit
  • Dark chocolate
  • Green tea

Avoid loading up on sugar as you will crash and burn...it’s true, trust us, we’ve learnt the hard way!

6. Get active and get some fresh air

Have you ever heard anyone say they felt worse after getting some fresh air or exercise? Probs not!

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As well as helping your bones and muscles become stronger and building a healthy heart, physical activity plays an important role in developing the brain and supporting essential mental functions. Also, the endorphins that the brain releases during exercise help to improve your mood, energy levels, and even sleep...which brings us to our next tip...

 

7. Get at least 8 hours of sleep

Ensuring that you are sleeping well can improve your mood, concentration, and academic performance.

Conversely, lack of sleep can make you feel down or irritable. For teens, the recommended number of hours of sleep per night is eight to ten hours. Even during exam time...yes put your textbook down and shut your eyes.

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This is an example of what not to do!

We put a Sleep meditation into the Study Program but if you’re thirsty for more we’ve got a whole Sleep Program you can try.

Night, night...don’t let the bed bugs bite.

 

We hope these tips help ease some of your anxiety about heading to exam time, good luck - we know you’ll be great!

Eimear Colleran

Written by Eimear Colleran

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