Even the most amateur of yogis can find yoga a way to destress this term

There is much generic material to be spewed out on revision tips and tricks, but we all know that everybody likes to work differently. Maybe it’s more useful to write about how we can look after ourselves in Exam term. After all, self-care is something we all need. While not everyone might be up for a spot of yoga or require cake on the regular, these are just a few ideas for making the next weeks a little bit nicer for yourself.

Yogic relief

I’m no expert yogi, but I often find a sun salutation does wonders for an achey back after hour upon hour of over-desk hunching. Yoga (however amateurish in my case) is great for stretching out those tense shoulders, and there are plenty of simple online tutorials and images to follow. You can even get a partner (or unsuspecting pal who you decide needs a break from the woes of revision) involved in some couples yoga. The added benefit of this is that you can laugh all that stress away when the complicated pose you find online inevitably doesn’t work – what’s not to love?

A mindful space

Most of my Mindfulness sessions at school consisted of savouring the taste of a raisin in my mouth (to really experience it, you know) for a side-splitting, near-to-spitting hour. Even though I couldn’t quite take the whole thing seriously at 13, there are a few tips I’ve used a lot since those classes. If the going gets tough and you’re feeling a bit panicky, a good old seven-eleven can work wonders. Breathe in for seven slow counts and out for eleven – your brain will feel oxygenised and your mind calmer. Try this if you’re having trouble getting to sleep as well. Similarly, ‘beditation’ wasn’t a massive personal success in Year Nine, but now reading a few pages of a book or listening to some music just before I drop off helps me slide out of a revision mindset and into a snoozing one.

Food to mood

My Exam Term is largely spent pining for my mum’s cooking and getting cross when nobody brings me a mid-morning snack to soothe my revision qualms. My food to mood correlation may still be that of a five year-old, but it’s definitely important to keep those cravings satisfied in Exam Term. Make sure you have plenty of your favourite snacks to fuel you through these tiring few weeks, eat proper meals, stay hydrated and indulge in many cake breaks (if you leave your desk to retrieve the cake it counts as exercise too). Vitamin and protein-rich foods aren’t a bad idea either, especially if exams leave you feeling a bit drained.

Room revamp

While a tidy desk isn’t everyone’s fast track to a tidy mind, it does help to keep your room fairly clutter-free at this time. When I’m having to delve to the bottom of a head-high pile of paper to find the notes I need, I know it’s time to grab the hole punch for some therapeutic filing. If you study in your room, it’s nice to make it a pleasant environment to be in as well. Get yourself some flowers (if nobody’s offering to buy them for you), make sure your curtains and windows are open to let in some sunlight, and put up that good luck card from your parents where you can see it – it might give you a burst of motivation when you raise your head.

Take a break


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Mountain View

Self-care, your way

Sometimes when the revision just gets to me I go for an angry stomp around the river by Darwin to let off some steam – would recommend. Whether your break consists of exercise, spending time with your friends or just watching some TV, it’s important to spend some time in your day not revising. Everyone knows that, of course, but sometimes the concept gets a little lost under the general layer of unnecessary stress shrouding college life at this time of year. Roam free and relinquish all thought of the E word as you relax your body and soul.

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