It's that time of year with end of year exams looming. Anyone living with a teenager in senior school will tell you that it's a stressful time, and not only for students but also for parents.
So what can be done to ease stress and enable your students to focus and think clearly?
It's best to prepare a program ahead of time, but as with many things it's better late than never. For starters, a healthy diet and regular exercies helps greatly to reduce stress at exam times. It doesn't have to be strenuous exercise, often just a quiet and calm 30 minute walk is enough to clear the head. It's amazing what a bit of fresh air can do for the mind.
Foods that contribute to unstable blood sugar levels should be avoided - sorry, this includes caffeine and chocolate. Digesting such foods depletes vitamins and minerals in the body leaving us feeling increasingly lethargic and irritable.
Additionally, consider the following supplements, herbs or teas:
- Brahmi: recognised the world over as a brain tonic, to promote intellect and comprehension, rejuvenate the brain and boost the memory.
- Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo improves blood flow to the brain and acts as an antioxidant. Studies have shown Ginkgo has improved memory and cognition.
- Brauer Focus Spray: includes ingredients such as Korean Ginseng and Valerian which are traditionally used in homeopathic medicine to help relieve nervous tension, stress and mild anxiety.
- Tulsi (holy basil): used for thousands of years, support a healthy response to stress, natural detoxification, increase stamina, endurance and energy and restore balance and harmony. Also available as a tea - great for a soothing drink while studying!
- Cephalic Essential Oils:
- Basil - used to promote focus and alertness
- Rosemary - improve memory, soothe digestive issues, relieve muscle aches and pains
- Clary Sage - relieves anxiety. Can also promote sexual desire, so maybe go easy on this one!
Essential oils can be used in traditional burners, vapourisers or mix with water in a spray bottle to make a refreshing room spray.
Homeopathics can be quite helpful too. Kali Phos supports the nervous system. It's also good for headaches, weakness and exhaution in students worn out by study.
Other useful homeopathics include:
- Aconite: for acute anxiety, agitation and restlessness
- Arsenicum: for restless anxiety including feelings of apprehension and dread.
- Nux Vomica: for those who are jittery, anxious and experiencing disturbed sleep.
- Silica: for those finding it difficult to concentrate or have poor memory recall.
If you're concerned about your students experiencing and handling stress during exam time (or any time really), you're most welcome to come in and have a chat with one of our friendly staff - we're here to help!
One thing we can tell you and your students is that feeling stress and anxiety is normal, and there is nothing wrong with asking for help - sometimes just talking through issues is all that you need. It's important to remember that nothing is so bad that it can't be solved, sometimes it just takes approaching things from a different perspective.
Good luck to all those heading into exams. Do your best, that's all anyone can ask from you.