Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Finals Week Survival Guide

Finals Week can be a stressful time, but Rec Sports has 10 tips to help get you through the week feeling happy and healthy.

Tip # 1 – Plan Ahead

Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness for Recreational Sports Trent Tangen recommends printing off a paper calendar from the Internet showing the last three weeks of school. Write in your class times, test times and work schedule.

“Fill in study times, maybe 2-3 times per class that you have to study for,” said Tangen. “The worse case scenario is you have to delete one or you don’t have to use one of the study sessions.”

Write in times to workout, free times for family and friends and times you want to go to bed by each night. Seeing your plan on paper will help you feel confident that you will survive and allow you to not stress over your schedule.

Tip #2 – Get to Bed

You need to recover mentally and physically. Your body naturally releases repair hormones during the night from about 10 p.m. – 6 a.m., but you need to be asleep for these hormones to be effective.

“Hopefully creating a schedule will help you avoid all night, last minute study sessions,” said Tangen.

Take a catnap if you need to, but be careful to not sleep too long during the day so that it does not disrupt your sleep that night.

Tip #3 – No Skipped Meals

Food has two roles, to supply energy and provide nutrients to your body and to help it recover and function properly. Your brain is doing a lot of work and needs nutrients to continue to do so; specifically your brain thrives off of healthy fats, which can be found in fish, olive oil, avocados, peanuts or peanut butter.

“Skipping meals can result in your sugar levels dropping too low, which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, mood swings or a jittery feeling,” said Tangen.

Tip #4 – Release Stress

To release stress take 10 deep breaths, come to a yoga session at TRAC, go for a walk, lift weights, play basketball, watch a funny movie, meditate, stretch, or take a dog for a walk. Exercise is a great tool to help increase energy and reduce stress, however, be careful not to overdue exercise, which can leave you exhausted. Limit your exercise during stressful times to 30-45 minutes or easy to moderate exercise.

Tip #5 – Take Study Breaks

Get up and walk around to get your blood flowing and give your brain a break. Tangen recommends taking a 5-10 minute break every hour.

Tip #6 – Go Outside

The sun is the best source of Vitamin D, the feel good vitamin, which can help to improve your mood. Simply go outside and soak up the sun for 10-20 minutes and you may notice you are feel better.

Tip #7 - Stay Well Hydrated

Staying well hydrated will keep your energy level up and feeling alert. Often when we feel fatigued it is because we are dehydrated.

“It will help to keep you more alert and increase your energy,” said Tangen. “If you start to become dehydrated mentally you become sluggish and physically you start to become exhausted and tired.”

Tip #8 - Teach it to a Friend

Take a friend for coffee or tea. If you can explain what you need to know for your test to your friend, chances are you know the material and will do well on your test.

Tip # 9 - Pet Therapy

Animals have a way about them that help us relax. If you do not have an animal at home you can go to a local shelter and walk a dog, play with a friends pet or simply observe an animal in nature.

Tip #10 -Think Positively

Trust your plan and be positive about what you are doing! You have marked out your calendar, you have worked on ways to relieve stress and exercising. You know exactly what is going to happen in the next two weeks. Picture yourself taking a test feeling calm, comfortable and confident.



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