By Chris Taylor , MFT, Author "Back To Basics"
Stress from homework, midterms, and finals happens with kids and teens of all ages, and it can be cause stress on the whole family as well. To better manage the stress and feelings that occur during this time, read the following 7 tips:
1. Get sleep - Sleep is very important to maintain overall health and wellness. It may seem like staying up all night studying is a good idea to cram, but in actuality a tired brain has a harder time recalling information. Studies have shown there is a correlation between the amount of sleep a student gets and their GPA. Although caffeine can seem to wake the mind, it can also cause agitation and irritability. It is also important before going to bed to turn off electronic devices and relax the mind.
2. Stay active - Taking study breaks and exercising are important for the mind to function too. Exercising increases blood flow and releases endorphins, causing you to be more alert and in a good mood.
3. Eat well - There is a such thing as “brain food”. Make sure there are 3 meals a day, and event snacks in between. Avoid sugar where possible, it will only give energy for a short time and then cause a crash in energy. Sugar and caffeine will also make it harder to sleep when it comes time.
4. Stay disconnected from your phone (especially social media) - Being connected to a phone can interrupt focus and valuable study time. Social media can be a dangerous rabbit hole that takes up more time than you may realize. When there is time for a break, relaxing the mind is important, rather than filling it with distractions on social media.
5. Relaxing environment - The company you keep can help with an environment, stay away from friends that stress out over exams. Relaxing habits could include meditation, yoga, drinking herbal tea, listening to calming music while studying, Make sure there is a good place to study; a quiet, well-lit room is ideal.
6. Keep an optimistic and encouraging environment - Students have enough pressure on them to do good, so parents shouldn’t add to that pressure. Being encouraging during the exam prep process is important. Parents should offer encouraging words and tips to help the child succeed.
7. Prioritize - Eliminate non-essential activities such as hanging out with friends. Planning ahead and sticking to a study schedule can help the ease of studying. As hard as it may seem, some activities like family time and chores may have to take a back seat if time is limited.
Keep an open communication during the exam preparation time so parents can understand the student’s needs. Student should feel comfortable leaning on the family for support. For the day of the exam, having everything ready to go, eating breakfast, and getting adequate sleep is very important. Parent should help students in this process, and students should make sure to set aside time to prepare these things. Following these tips can make for exam success, and a happier situation at home.