High School can be an incredibly fun, yet challenging time of your life.
The challenges we face can be summed up in one word; workload. We may feel as though we’re on top of everything one day and collapsing under the weight of one hundred text books the next. You then have to balance this leaning tower of study with numerous other commitments, as well as making those important, life changing decisions as the end of your schooling career approaches.
Give yourself a break; look at everything you are doing! You can’t possibly be perfect at it all, but you sure are giving it a go. So before that tower falls on top of you, be proactive and get on top of it!
Think about how you relax when you are trying to take a break from those differential math equations. Be honest with yourself, are you on Facebook, or watching TV? Is what you are doing really relaxing or are you simply staring at a screen, worrying about what homework you should be doing? Does a break from study that actually increases your study ability sound good to you? It’s time to switch up how you switch off!
Two words; regular exercise. The benefits of this wonderful activity go far beyond improving your cardiovascular health. One of these being the vast improvements to our mental wellbeing; exercise can reduce stress and has been used to treat anxiety. It also activates the pleasure centre of our brains to reduce depressive symptoms and increase positive emotion. If that hasn’t convinced you to get off the couch already, this last benefit might kick you into action. Studies have shown that regular physical exercise generates cells in the areas of the brain associated with attention, memory formation and learning.
You don’t have to be an athlete or run 5kms every day for this to be effective. 2 ½ hours a week, or 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week will do the job. If you don’t like playing sport or going to a gym, try something new! You might make some new friends along the way. Go to a boxing class, do laps at the local pool or sign up for something different, like a hip hop class. Even a long walk will be effective.
In short, exercise helps you deal with stress when you are trying to relax, motivates you to begin your homework, improves your attention so you can study for longer and helps you to retain what you learnt during that time more effectively. As a student, I used this simple yet effective technique through high school and have continued to during my university studies. I definitely notice a difference in my studies when I use this technique on a regular basis. So why not give it a go, you have nothing to lose!
Good luck with your studies,