By Bernice Kwan
Finals are about to begin. With the distraction of summer and the blazing heat, it may be difficult to focus on your studies. Remaining calm can help improve your ability to think and improve your test performance. Keep your mind at peace and take these tips to help you get through finals and finish this school year off strong!
- Chew your food slowly: When it comes snack or meal time, slow down and taste your food. This lets you practice mindfulness and helps you take your mind off your stresses by allowing you to savor the flavors and enjoy your food. Also, your body is given more time to sense that you are full so you may probably end up eating less than you otherwise would have.
- Get your body moving: Take a study break and get moving! Physical activity can help balance your stress hormones and keep your mind at rest. Moreover, exercise promotes oxygen circulation and stimulates your body to make endorphins, which are mood boosting hormones. Head over to the ARC to get your workout in, play some basketball with your friends, or just go for a stroll in the Arboretum!
- Snack Smart: Many conventional snacks like candy are packed with sugar which raises your blood glucose and can make you more restless. Try something like dark chocolate dipped strawberries instead! The vitamin C in strawberries reduces stress induced free radicals and dark chocolate reduces stress hormones like cortisol.
- Need more snack ideas? Check out these study friendly snacks! https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/10-healthy-study-snacks
- Try Tryptophan: Tryptophan is an amino acid and a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you feel calm. Pairing Tryptophan with food high in carbohydrates can activate the release of serotonin. However, keep in mind that it also has the capability to make you feel sleepy or tired! Tryptophan is found in a variety of foods including whole grains, turkey, chicken, milk, soy, and nuts.
- Load up on vitamin B: This vitamin has been found to have a positive effect on mood, which in turn can help you feel more level headed. Eating foods containing vitamin B can help keep anxiety at bay. You can find it in meats, citrus fruits, rice, nuts, and eggs.
- Warm Up: Studies have shown that when your body gets heated up, you tend to feel more relaxed since it reduces muscle tension and anxiety. Also, warmth affects serotonin levels and may control mood. So next time you are feeling overwhelmed, lay out in the Quad in between your classes to soak up some sun and take a hot bath to unwind your day!
- Reflect on Your Accomplishments: Though you may feel like you have a million things to finish up and worry about getting everything done in time, take a minute to reflect on everything you have accomplished so far. You have made it this far and are almost done with the 2015-2016 school year. This can help build the motivation and confidence you need to get through this last week – you can do it!