As exam season approaches, teenagers and their parents will no doubt experience some feelings of dread. This is a perfectly normal feeling to have as deadlines loom and pressure builds ups. It seems as if there's pressure coming from all angles.
However, with a bit of foresight and planning, we can make the exam season easier to bear and remove a lot of the stress, so it's not so overwhelming a time for our teenagers, as well as the whole household.
Here are some of my tried and tested nutrition and lifestyle tips for everyone involved to make this period as smooth as possible:
1. Make sure the kitchen is stocked up with healthy food as regular meals and snacks (every 3 hours) balance blood sugar and ensure we have a steady stream of energy. Useful snacks to have are Lizi's granola and yoghurt, fruit, nuts and seeds, oatcakes with hummus, guacamole or nut butter, plenty of water and herbal teas, fresh juices and smoothies.
2. Ensure a regular intake of good fats as the brain is 60% fat and this will boost memory, improve focus and a high level of concentration, whilst uplifting mood! Food sources are oily fish, nuts and seeds, and good oils such as linseed or hemp.
3. Try to keep levels of caffeine and sugar low as these are energy 'robbers' giving a short lift followed by a drop - make a batch of tasty pancakes or low sugar cakes or flapjacks, sweetened with fruits, or protein balls for a quick and natural 'pick me up'.
4. Ensure good sleeping habits as this will help the brain and body to rejuvenate by doing something relaxing to unwind before bed - an Epsom salts bath (helps the body absorb the mineral magnesium, nature's tranquiliser, food sources are dark green leafy vegetables, brown rice, nuts and seeds), aromatherapy oils like lavender, and a meditation app like 'headspace' are all good options.
5. Use bach flower remedies to aid a restless mind (sweet chestnut), get rid of fear (mimulus) and boost confidence (larch).
6. Use aromatherapy oils to help the mind to relax as well as improve memory and concentration; improve focus with peppermint, and uplift mood with wild orange - tune into my teenage pre-exam boosting webinar on 29th March at 8pm with Emily Mascarenhas, where we will be discussing all of the above as well as how DoTERRA oils ease stress and boost concentration and help with sleep in more detail. Click here to register!
7. The routines that you get into for studying are really important. The best way to study is to focus for between 40 and 90 minutes, then take a 10 minute break where you do some form of exercise. Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need. Regular exercise really helps with your concentration when studying. Also when planning study periods, plan some time out for things that you love, especially if they relax you, such as your favourite music, get out into nature, either walk or cycle; book a treatment such as massage or a relaxing reiki session. It's not being self indulgent - it's a necessity!
8. Finally, plan a treat at the end - how will your reward yourself for getting through it!! I'm talking to the parents now! Joking aside it's good motivation (or call it bribery!) to have a special treat planned at the end of all that hard work - a meal out, a nice outfit, a new hairdo, whatever you think will keep you motivated to stay on track!
I'd love to hear any tips you may have for coping with exams, feel free to call me (07880 353964) or email me with your queries and suggestions, you're always welcome!
Reiki special offer: I am currently offering a special exam rate of 70 minutes for £55 (normal price £60). Come and relax and let it all go....! Click here for more information.
Good luck, think positive thoughts, and look after yourself:
'fall in love with the process and the rest will come'