It’s exam time and unless you are Mr Cool, there are no ways around it – most people find them extremely nerve racking and quite stressful. But help is at hand, below are 5 simple tips to help you to revise (and remember!) and to calm those nerves on that all important day.
- Eat well
Eating the go to chocolate bar and crisps, pizza or chips and curry sauce may seem like ‘just what you need’ or an ‘essential energy boost’ but these foods will actually leave you feeling sluggish, heavy and make it harder to concentrate (even if you get an initial sugar rush from the chocolate). Making sure you are maintaining a good healthy diet and making sure you don’t skip meals is really important for helping you to concentrate and retain information.
It doesn’t need to be tasteless, just energy packed and full or vitamins and minerals. Why not start the day with sardines or egg on wholemeal toast and steamed spinach or try porridge with fresh fruits – particularly darker varieties such as blueberries – and seeds?
You may try and convince yourself you don’t have time but when you are staring at your notes reading the same sentence over and over again, that is when you have time. Just a 10 minute brisk walk around the block could save you hours of staring and procrastination, helping you to become more stress resilient, and getting some fresh air in nature will also help to restore your brain function.
Regularly meditating has been shown to improve your ability to be attentive and less anxious and therefore take in more. Why not try this 1 minute meditation to start with http://exerciseyourfreedom.com/index.php/2016/02/21/a-quick-meditation-to-help-you-get-through-your-day/.
- Make time for yourself
Try to make a revision plan, making sure there is time in there to do what is good for your wellbeing, whether it’s kicking a ball about, dancing, singing or even knitting! Also, make sure you plan in plenty of time to sleep and don’t be tempted to burn the midnight oil.
- Equal breathing exercise
If you feel everything is getting on top of you, or its exam time, try a deep breathing exercise to calm your body and mind, reduce the impacts of stress and allow you to bring your focus back to what you are doing. Ensuring you are sitting up straight take a deep breath in for 4 seconds through your nose, expanding your chest and abdomen, and then exhale for 4 seconds through your nose. Repeat this at least 3 times.
Above all else, make sure at this time that you look after yourself. A tired, worn-out and poorly fed body and brain isn’t going to allow you to perform to your best!
For more tips, visit www.exerciseyourfreedom.com/fit-tips
 Wesnes, K. A., Pincock, C., Richardson, D., Healm, G., Hails, S. (2003) Breakfast reduces declines in attention and memory over the morning in schoolchildren. Appetite Volume 41, Issue 3, December 2003, Pages 329–331.
 Roth, D. L. and Holmes, D. S. (1985) Influence of physical fitness in determining the impact of stressful life events on physical and psychologic health. Psychosom Med. 1985 Mar-Apr;47(2):164-73.
 Berman, M. G., Jonides, J. and Kaplan, S. (2008) The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature. Psychological Science.