As exam time approaches, teenagers across the land are cramming hard. Heads full of facts and figures, pages of text lying open, highlighters strewn across the length of the house. This is undoubtedly a stressful time, with young people today under more pressures than ever before.
Parents usually take the 'encouragement and support' approach, knowing that a break every now and then is the best thing for everyone. I say that as though we’re all rational, reasonable people however if you were to ask my son, I’m sure he’d tell you I was Perth’s answer to Miss Trunchbull during his Highers!
A planned rota of study mixed with some downtime, some exercise and a couple of hours with friends will keep teenagers on top of their gameThe truth, like so many things in life, is that it’s all about balance. A planned rota of study mixed with some downtime, some exercise and a couple of hours with friends will keep teenagers on top of their game, and prevent stress building to pressure-cooker levels during this all-important time.
As a parent, you probably need to practice some of these tips yourself. Take a break from nagging, go for a walk and make yourself a nice healthy snack to distract you from peering over their shoulders! You'll be very glad you did.
A balanced routine is essential during study leave and exam time, and the trick is to plan for this right at the beginning. Look at the exam timetable and make a rota that covers all of your subjects, and works in line with the exam dates. Spread your load according to the subjects you know you need to study most. We promise, you’ll be surprised at the difference a written plan of action makes!
Do remember that everyone revises differently. Some people like to study alone in their room, others prefer the wide open space of the local library. Some find early morning their most productive time, others like to study late. As long as you plan it in, stick with it and know you’re ticking off the hours that you need for success, there is no right and wrong.
LOCAL HELP: Culture PK Libraries can help with study guides for Nat 4, Nat 5, Highers and Advanced Highers. Find your nearest library here >>>
Sitting at the computer, or with your head in a book for long periods of time, is no better for you than staring at your phone for hours on end playing Angry Birds! There have been endless studies conducted that prove revising for excessively long periods becomes counter-productive.
Your posture, physical health and mental wellbeing all demand that you get up and take a break, to help you stay fresh and sponge-like!
LOCAL HELP: Take a break and head out and about with the dog - scientifically proven to de-stress you and make you feel better - by checking out Dog Friendly Perthshire's website. Or why not arrange to meet friends and have a wander round the fab shops and cafes near you.
Exercise oxygenates the brain and releases tension, helping you to keep calm, mentally relax and study more efficiently. Those feel-good exercise endorphins everyone talks about could become your best friend during exam time; not only will they help to reduce stress but they'll boost energy levels, clearing the mind and keeping it focused.
During study leave, you should aim to be active every day for at least 60 minutes. This could be three lots of twenty minutes, two lots of thirty - you get the idea. It doesn’t matter what it is - walking, cycling, swimming, football and dancing are all as effective as each other - so a stroll to the shop for a snack absolutely counts!
LOCAL HELP: Live Active Leisure have venues all over Perth and Kinross, and have introduced a fantastic 30 Day Teen Pass for use over the exam period. See details at the end of this article or click to their website here >>>
When you’re studying for exams, it’s easy to reach for the chocolate bars, crisps, and fizzy drinks but we all know that these are the snacks that leave us feeling sluggish and tired - that sugar rush only goes so far.
Keep a glass of fruit juice, herbal tea or water within easy reach while studying and take a bottle of water into the examDespite the brain being one of the smallest organs in the body, it uses up to 20% of the energy we need every day. Keeping a steady supply of glucose (energy) throughout the day, will ensure you keep your concentration during both your study and exam times.
Opt for healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, popcorn, yoghurt or nuts and be sure to stay hydrated – aim for 1.5 to 2 litres of fluid each day. Keep a glass of fruit juice, herbal tea or water within easy reach while studying and take a bottle of water into the exam.
A bit like the sugary snacks, dehydration can make you feel lethargic, irritable and tired. Worst of all, it affects your concentration which may make it more difficult to study and perform to your best. And we don't want that!
LOCAL HELP: We have a healthy meals and snacks recipe section here on Small City. I bet you could sweet talk your Mum into helping you make these!
This sounds so obvious, but you’ll feel so much more relaxed if you’re prepped and ready. The day before the exam, check what hall it is being held in, and what time it starts. Get together your pens and pencils, and grab a bottle for water. Switch off the phone and tablet early, and get a good night’s sleep so that you are well rested.
If your exam is close to where you live, why not walk there instead of driving, or take the bus and get off a stop or two early? A short walk before an exam will help you to relax and focus your mind.
Finally, go to the loo – you don’t a pee disrupting weeks of hard work!
LOCAL HELP: Catch the bus in plenty of time, to arrive focused, alert and ready to go. Stagecoach journey planner will help you plan >>>
This 30 Day Fitness Pass is only £10 and includes gym, fitness classes, swimming, sporthall, Muga Pitches and Ice Skating. On sale in all LAL venues from 22nd April - 6th May 2019 and is valid for 30 days from date of purchase.
Standard Terms & Conditions apply. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offer available to persons aged 12-18 years.
LAL have also created a Snapchat Geo-Filter so teens can share their workout selfies. The best workout selfie will win a 30 Day Membership. Click to find out more >>>
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