College students around the country know ‘tis the season. For them, however, t December doesn’t mean rushing through malls looking for the perfect gift for loved ones. Instead it means something much more stressful: final exams. Fortunately many colleges are taking steps to help their students effectively manage this stressful time. They know this is an important part of any personal wellness plan.
Many campuses offer wellness programs that help students maintain healthy habits like eating well and exercising even during crunch time. Fortunately, many programs also recognize the importance of tending to students’ mental wellness as well as their physical wellness. They know optimal health means functioning well in all areas. Particularly during final exam time, college administrators and wellness coordinators find themselves offering a variety of stress management resources to frazzled college students.
Many schools offer fun and creative opportunities to reduce stress. For example, one university held a gingerbread house decorating contest. Another offered pet therapy sessions where students played with friendly pooches. These fun study breaks help lower stress and tension.
In addition to mixing a little fun into your study breaks, it’s important for students to cultivate their own stress management practices. It not only helps navigate the immediate stresses of exam week, but it also develops positive lifelong skills.
Here are a few stress management tips for students:
1) Know your studying style: Not everyone learns best by spending marathon sessions reviewing notes in the library. Some people remember things better if they discuss it with someone. Others find note cards or mnemonics helpful. Knowing what works best for you can help you feel calm and confident while reviewing important material.
2) Get enough sleep: Many times students think pulling all nighters increase their chance of acing an exam. Studies show, however, that people remember information better if they get adequate sleep after learning it.
3) Take frequent breaks: Taking short breaks every hour can increase concentration, improve productivity, and facilitate better recall of information.
4) Listen to music: Music offers many stress relieving benefits. Dancing and singing to a favorite song helps release tension and can give some cardiac benefits if you do it long enough. Music can also have direct biochemical and psychological effects that help the body relax. Slow musical pieces are particularly relaxing.
5) Take deep relaxing breaths: Breathing is free, easy, and always available. Diaphragmatic breathing-controlled deep breathing that draws the breath down towards the stomach-can shift the body’s physiology from a stress response to a relaxation response.
6) Remember to Laugh: Laughter has been shown to positively influence the body’s physiology. Many people believe it facilitates emotional and physical healing. Using study breaks to do something that makes you laugh helps reduce stress and can also help you feel rejuvenated.
The Ultimate Health and Wellness Guide Dr. Donna Hamilton, MD has a mission to help everyone live the healthy, satisfying lives they’re meant to lead. A dynamic holistic wellness speaker, Dr. Hamilton passionately teaches what being healthy really means and how to do it in a way that fits your unique needs. Her easy, practical tips assist you with assessing the entire wellness landscape and appropriately planning your personal wellness journey. Her workbook Wellness Your Way combines evidence based counseling and coaching skills with her primary care medicine wisdom to assist readers on this journey. For more information or to book Dr. Hamilton for speaking engagements click here or visit www.DonnaHamiltonMD.com