stressaSeven Quick Tips to Help you Relax

The daily demands of life, such as exams, peer pressure, and homework assignments, or the challenges of relationships, family, or not making it on a sporting team can lead to an overwhelming feeling of stress. What you need to learn is how to cope with these situations in order to live a successful, productive, and happy life. Here are some proven techniques to help you relax and eliminate stress from your mind and body.

 

1. Eat in Moderation
Never skip a meal, especially breakfast. Breakfast replenishes your body and helps you start your day full of energy. Eat three main meals, and two to three snack meals a day. Eating five to six times in a day keeps your blood sugar levels balanced, giving you an overall sense of well-being needed for focusing on your tasks and responsibilities.

2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise, at least three times per week for a minimum of 30 minute sessions, can virtually “soak up” stress chemicals in your body and help you to relax and even sleep better. Brisk walking, aerobic classes, swimming, bike riding, or jogging are great exercises to release stress build up and relax your body and mind to either start or end your day right.

3. Remember to Breathe
When you feel your body start to tense, especially in your shoulders, chest, and abdomen when faced with a stressful situation, stop and take a few deep, slow breaths. If you are entering into a stressful situation, breathe slowly and evenly, using diaphragmatic breathing. This is a technique where you focus your breathing on your diaphragm where your belly rises and falls with each breath. Diaphragmatic breathing allows you to calm your nerves and relax your body and mind as your attention is placed on your breath.

4. Take a Time Out and be MINDFUL
As you go through your day, take little breaks, about two to five minutes, to relax and unwind. Whether it’s sitting quietly, listening to relaxing music, or meditation, take a moment to place yourself in your own calm state.

5. Pursue an Interest
Find something that you enjoy doing that is relaxing for you. When you find an interest that matches your personality, you can not only unwind and release stress, but engage your creativity in expressing yourself. This could be through painting, playing basketball, writing, playing a musical instrument, or signing up for a class that you have always been wanting to take.

6. Have a Support Network
Create a support network of close friends or family that you can turn to in times of stress. Good and loving relationships are key for your well-being and happiness. It makes you realize what is important in life and where your energies should be placed.

7. Avoid Bad Habits
When you are under stress, it is easy to turn to your established bad habits to deal with the stress. These habits are negative and will not take away stress, but only prolong it. The best way to avoid bad habits is to create new positive habits. Here is how to create a positive habit:
• Decide on the habit. Will you go for a walk each morning, go to the gym, take time out to do something special for yourself?
• Decide on where and when you will do this new habit. Choose a time and place and continue this new activity for 3 months (it takes around 66 days to establish a habit).
• Reward yourself each time you do this new activity. You may simply take a moment to notice how good it feels.

These tips provided by Rocky Biasi from Human Connections (www.humanconnections.com.au) a secondary high school teacher and school counsellor currently in private practice. Rocky is a specialist in the field of peak performance and wellbeing. He has created a number of programs including his online wellbeing resource: http://hcsmc.com/dl

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au  you can learn more about how to improve your results and be more efficient and effective with your schoolwork by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here.

Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net
Online Study Skills Handbook: www.studyskillshandbook.com.au

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Many students when they come home from school end up just waiting until they might ‘feel’ like doing schoolwork. Or else they drag the work out over the whole night. A much better way to work is each night have set allocated times for schoolwork, 2-3 half hour blocks. During this time you should do homework first, then work on any assignments or upcoming tests, then use the rest of the time allocated for schoolwork to independent learning activities. All distractions should be removed during this time, so you learn to focus for 20-30 minute blocks of time.
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Some of the benefits for students of having set times allocated for schoolwork are:

  • You are more likely to do the work if you know when to start and when to end.
  • You will be more effective when you remove distractions and learn to focus for 20-30 minute blocks.
  • In all the times NOT allocated to schoolwork you can do whatever you like without feeling guilty about it.
  • Having set times stops arguments between students and parents as everyone has agreed when the timeslots allocated to students will be.
  • You know that you are definitely doing enough work for school.
  • Keeping schoolwork and personal life separate means you will be able to manage all of the distractions in your life and still complete your work for school.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au  you can learn more about how to improve your results and be more efficient and effective with your schoolwork by working through the units on the site. You can also print a sheet outlining independent learning activities (click on the More menu then on Things to Print). Check if your school subscribes here.

Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net
Online Study Skills Handbook: www.studyskillshandbook.com.au

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STUDY SKILLS TIP #52 – THINKING AHEAD

by psalter on May 1, 2014

Are you riding a rollercoaster at school? Rollercoaster study is where you stay up late doing last minute assignments, then you take it easy for a while and do very little, then panic again when something is due and have to spend huge amounts of time at the end completing the work. If you plan ahead and are prepared, you will find school much less stressful and more rewarding.

Here are the top tips for thinking ahead:

1. STUDY NOTES: If you know that you have a test at the end of each topic or examinations approaching, then on the nights you do not have much homework start working on your study notes and summaries. File them in folders at home so they are ready to go when you need them.

2. ASSIGNMENTS: Always start the assignment the day it is given to you, even if it is just a little bit. Make sure you understand the requirements and if you don’t ask your teacher straight away the next day. Brainstorm the steps the first night and do a rough plan of when you will do each step.

3. ASK FOR HELP EARLY: There is nothing more frustrating than a student who says ‘I haven’t understood anything we did in the last 3 weeks’. Ask for help as soon as you have a problem. Keep a list of questions for your teacher on a post-it in your textbook or sticky notes on your computer or a list in your phone. Don’t let problems or issues build up, ask for help early and often.

4. THINK ABOUT WHO YOU SIT NEXT TO: Choose wisely who you will sit with in class. This can make a world of difference to your results. If you sit with someone where it is a productive relationship, you encourage and help each other and stay on task in the classroom you will understand your work better and have less to do at home.

5. CONSIDER YOUR WEEK: Plan ahead for busy times. If you know you have nights where you can’t do much work or a busy weekend, plan ahead and get things done early. Always look ahead for possible times where you could be caught short of time and make plans to avoid problems.

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Subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au may also like to work through the STUDY NOTES, ASSIGNMENT SKILLS, ASKING FOR HELP, TIME MANGEMENT SKILLS, MANAGING WORKLOAD, DEALING WITH DISTRACTIONS and OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION units. Check if your school subscribes here.

Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net
Online Study Skills Handbook: www.studyskillshandbook.com.au

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STUDY SKILLS TOP TIP #51 – WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE HOMEWORK?

March 31, 2014

Homework in secondary school serves many purposes. It could be to consolidate or check or extend the learning from the day or prepare for the learning to come in subsequent days. It could be to do with longer term work such as assignments or preparing for tests and examinations. Ultimately it comes back to what [...]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP # 50 – 5 REASONS NOT TO PUT OFF STARTING ASSIGNMENTS

March 1, 2014

Here are 5 reasons why you should start working on your assignment simmediately. 1. GET YOUR BRAIN THINKING ABOUT THE TOPIC: Even if your assignment isn’t due for weeks, start thinking about it immediately. At the very least, answer the key starter questions on the day you get your assignment. Even if you are not [...]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP 49 – SECONDARY SCHOOL SUCCESS

January 31, 2014

Every parent and teacher would like to see students achieving their personal academic best at school. Knowing how to work efficiently can help students navigate the mire of academic demands in secondary school in a stress-free way. Here are the top five tips about making the most of your time at school this year and working efficiently [...]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP 48 – TOP TIPS FOR A NEW YEAR

January 1, 2014

This month’s post is a guest post from Skylar Anderson. Skylar Anderson is a Seminar Director at StudyRight. He graduated summa cum laude from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree. He has been helping students simplify their studies and get the most from their education through StudyRight since 2011. [...]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP 47 – SWOT ANALYSIS

December 1, 2013

Reflecting on Triumphs and Tribulations With the end of the year fast approaching it is a good time for students to reflect on their approach to school this year.  If you wait until next year you will have forgotten what you did this year and what you need to change for next year. So as [...]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP 46 – HOW TO STUDY

November 1, 2013

A common form of assessment in secondary school is a test or examination. Unfortunately many students don’t really know how to study properly for a test. They just read their notes over and over and hope that the content will stay in their head. This is the slowest and most ineffective way of studying. Some [...]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP 45 – PERFECTIONISM

October 1, 2013

Expectations on students can create a very competitive environment. Students are inundated with information about the significance of academic performance, and the result, in many cases, is that some students develop unhealthy propensities for perfectionism. Perfectionism may not sound like much of a problem in an academic atmosphere – after all, teachers and parents want [...]

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