It’s everyone’s favorite time of the semester…..to stress out. Finals are approaching. What do you do to stay calm? Have trouble deciding? Here are some tips that might help you get in the zone and buckle down in a calming way.
Figure out your best environment
Do you work better alone in a quiet place? Do you prefer a study buddy? Figure out if you're more of an independent studier or the opposite. Figuring out the type of environment you thrive best in is step one to guaranteeing studying success. I will say that these ideas may be geared a little more towards the independant studier, but they can still be helpful if your with a friend as well!
Set the mood
It is actually a proven fact that humans tend to feel more stressed out, anxious and depressed when they are in a cluttered room as opposed to a clean one. Cleaning up your space, and maybe putting on a nice lighting effect can immediately calm your mood and make you feel more willing to focus and get your work done. Let me prove a point. Does picture A or B look like more of an appealing place to get that essay written?
I think the answer is obvious. Tidy up before you pull an all nighter!
Studying on an empty stomach will only lessen your focus. But did you know there are certain foods that are scientifically proven to de-stress and relax you? Foods such as avocado, berries, oranges and orange juice (vitamin c), walnuts and oysters are all proven to put you in more of a relaxed state and naturally reduce stress. So enjoy some avocado on your sandwich or eat some blueberries before a study session!
Make a study Playlist
Not everyone prefers music while they study, but I find that simple relaxing music in the background immediately relieves tension and could help you feel a bit happier and willing to get things done. It is actually proven that jazz and classical music relaxes the brain! Put on your favorite relaxing playlist of your choice; whatever makes you feel more content. If you have Spotify, I would recommend this “chill out”playlist. https://play.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/67rsdtfs0BJIiQYQWKQU95 you can find playlists like this among thousands of others on Spotify, and YouTube has tons of relaxation tracks intended for concentration and productivity.
Or you can always be creative, and just make your own! Have fun with it.
Candles and Incense
The use of incense tends to be an aquired practice, but as an avid “incense girl” myself, I highly recommend it. It’s used regularly during meditation and yoga, and naturally relaxes the mind and body. You can find it anywhere, from any new age shop or smoke shop and they aren’t hard to find at your local mall. If incense isn’t your thing, burning candles can be equally relaxing. Plus the appearance of candles in a dimly lit room is one of my favorites and is an instant mood booster not only on the eyes but on the mind!
There is nothing wrong with taking little breaks in between studying for a big exam to simply center yourself. Studying for long periods of time can get overwhelming, and taking a few minutes to close your eyes and remind yourself that it isn’t actually the end of the world, can do wonders. Take these easy steps:
1. sit crossed legged and rest your palms on your knees, and gently close your eyes.
2. try to clear your mind of whatever you were just studying for the moment.
3. breath in slowly, and just simply be aware of the air filling your lungs. you can even visualize it if you want. this makes the effect more calming.
4. then hold your breath for 4 seconds.
5. slowly exhale for the count of 10 and visualize the air slowly flowing out of your lungs.
6. then have a moment of nothing. repeat this process for 5 times or so and you should feel more centered and ready to continue studying.
Give yourself a reward!
What better motivation is there than a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Give yourself a mental reward after your studying or something to work towards. You get to finish that episode of your favorite Netflix show, or you get to hang out with your S.O. or best friend, or even sleep can be motivation enough. Personally I reward myself with a glass of wine and a bath after studying. Hey you worked hard right? Time to chill out! And hopefully pass that exam with flying colors. Cheers!