Self-care: How to relieve stress

1. Exercise

You’ve heard this over and over again – “Exercise is good for you” – and you might already be scoffing at this pointer. But heed the old adage because there is truth to it! Get outside or get your yoga mat out within the comforts of your home and do some exercises corresponding to your fitness level. The endorphins produced after your workout can help bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being

Starting from tomorrow, get an exercise plan to do before, in between, or after your study sessions. Even better, make it a group activity and get your peers or family members to join you! Use the time to clear out the chaos from your head and refocus your mind for a more motivated time of studying after.  

 

2. Get enough rest 

You may be thinking, "I need more time to study, so I'll just cut a few hours of sleep now and make it up after exams are over." However, getting enough sleep is essential to your wellbeing during this stressful period. 

Getting the recommended amount of sleep daily will help you feel more alert and be more productive while studying. In addition, ensuring that your brain has time to rest and that it has absorbed the information you have studied is key to retaining that knowledge in the long term. So the next time you're tempted to stay up cramming one more chapter for an exam the next morning, remember how much sleep can do for you and go get some shut-eye instead. 

 

3. Study with a buddy 

If you're someone who struggles to stay focused while studying alone, finding a study buddy might help. Get a friend who you know will encourage you while you're studying and keep you on task. Even better, find someone who studies similar subjects as you and make notes together. 

Studying together works when friends can keep each other focused and motivated, helping each other achieve their study goals. Your friend should be comfortable telling you to get off your phone and start revising, and you should too for them. 

Studying together is not for everyone, however. If you're someone who can focus better on your own, stick to that. But for those who find it difficult to be productive alone, studying with a friend is something that you can try to beat those study blues. 

 

4. Relieve stress by listening to music 

When you feel like you've reached saturation point and can't absorb any more information, kicking back and listening to some tunes may help

Taking a quick break to listen to some music can do wonders for your productivity. If you're feeling overwhelmed by stress, pick a playlist that soothes and calms you. If you're in need of a pick-me-up, choose a playlist with upbeat tunes that you can sing or dance along to. Whatever you need, music streaming service Spotify has plenty of playlists for you to choose from. All you have to do is search for them. 

 

5. Productive Procrastination

So you don’t want to do that school thing you’re supposed to do and all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of a large-scale room clean up, Marie Kondo-style. How did you get from writing that English essay to sitting on your room floor and thanking an old t-shirt before throwing it into the to-dump pile? This is what the New York Times bestselling author Austin Kleon calls ‘productive procrastination’, the act of “procrastinat[ing] on one project by working on another, sometimes switching between two or more projects until all the projects are done.”

The next time you don’t feel like working on that essay you know is due soon, don’t beat yourself up too much and try doing something else that is still productive but in a different way. Check out this link to read more about what Kleon says on it. 

 

6. Treat ‘yoself’

At the end of a diligent studying session, treat yourself to something that you find exceedingly comforting. It can be a favourite food or drink, a movie you’ve been wanting to watch or a movie that you’ve watched so many times you can recite the lines word for word in every scene. 

Bottom line is: do something that you know you will enjoy so that when you start your next study session, you will be refreshed, invigorated and ready to delve deep into your chosen subject matter. Having regular ‘treat yoself’ sessions is crucial to motivating yourself to keep going. A word of caution though: be mindful not to overindulge in these sessions so much so that they occupy most of your time and distract you from the focus here – your studies!