Welcome back! We hope you had a relaxing Christmas break and are looking forward to whatever 2019 has in store for you.
January, however, can be a slog for some, especially with exams looming, but there are some steps you can take to help you through the month.
No doubt Christmas will have been a time of indulgence for many, so you may be feeling like you need to refuel your body with some vitamins which will boost your energy and also help fend off any winter colds. Why not swap some of your baking ingredients for veggie alternatives, for example by using beetroot or avocado instead of fats and artificial colours? Just as tasty but with added nutrients!
A great way to help prevent stress in the first place is to organise your work and your time. Even tidying your room can help you think much more clearly; there’s nothing worse than having to rifle through mountains of loose sheets trying to find something you wrote last term in the middle of a flowing revision session. Some people may find a revision timetable useful for time management and to organise revision according to topic.
Take some time to breathe
Check your Students’ Union website or local gym for yoga or meditation classes. Taking some time out from daily stresses can lift a weight off your mind, and breathing exercises can help to cope with stress and to momentarily slow things down to get them into perspective. Likewise, if you’ve been crouched over a desk all day, stretching out your back is great for posture and relieving tension. Take a look at Mind’s website for breathing exercise tips and other relaxation methods.
Do something you enjoy!
It sounds obvious, but amongst all the January exams and house hunting, it’s easy to forget to spend some time on those things you actually enjoy! Whether that’s reading a good book, listening to a new album, cooking, going for a walk, or meeting your friends for a coffee, make sure to make time for enjoyment.
If you struggle to maintain concentration in one place, why not move to a café or a library or cluster you’ve not visited before? A change in environment and some fresh air can not only give you space to breathe but can also help you to think outside the box and get those creative juices flowing.
If you’re feeling worried about exams or anything for that matter, don’t keep it to yourself. There’s no better way of getting it off your chest than talking about it – and there’s always someone to listen. Whether that’s a family member, your Students’ Union Advice team, your tutor, or your flat mate; grab a cuppa and chat.
If you’re really struggling, all Students’ Unions have support teams who are trained to help students to deal with stress or mental health problems, as well as universities having processes in place for those with mitigating circumstances. Check your university’s website or ask at your Students’ Union.
We wish you a fantastic year and ahead, and the best of luck to those sitting exams this month!