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Top ten stress-busting techniques!

Tips and AdviceExams

You might be overwhelmed with deadlines recently as the mid-term assessment period approaches at great speed. It can be easy to let it all get on top of you. At some point during the next few weeks you might want to scream, cry, laugh hysterically and just generally break down.

But never fear! Here are the 10 top stress-busting techniques to ensure a smooth journey through mid-term assessments, ensuring any hysteria is kept to a minimum.

1. Enjoy a massage:

"Massage?! Massage?! You think I have time for a massage?!" I hear you splutter. I'm not talking a full body three hour long indulgence fest. Most salons offer mini-treatments which last about 15-20 minutes. Just enough time to have all the tension squished out of your neck and shoulders, which, I'm guessing will be very sore from your permanent hunched position over laptops and books. You'll be in, out and feeling refreshed in just over half an hour. Perfecto.

2. Do some yoga:

To really get back down to earth try a quick yoga, meditation or Pilates session. The relaxing music and atmosphere will do the trick, and, to be honest you'll be concentrating so hard on the movements you won't have a chance to think about anything else!

3. Hit the gym:

If all this taking it slow and lying around breathing isn't really your thing then go to the other extreme, get to the gym and pound the treadmill for half an hour. Whack up the volume on your iPod and take out all your frustration on the rowing machine. Grab the dumbbells and, oh, you get the idea.

4. Get some fresh air:

The chances are you'll have a serious case of cabin fever, which is easily fixed, huzzah! Basically, to solve this problem- go outside. Just stand up and leave your desk. This might seem a bit extreme considering you've still got two assignments to do, but it really is that simple. Have a wander around, go for a stroll or just take some deep breaths of outside world air to clear your mind (but hopefully not of the answers).

5. Listen to classical music:

Forget the dubstep or heavy metal numbers, to really calm yourself throw on the classical tunes. A bit of Mozart, Wagner or Beethoven will have you back on track in no time. It also helps your concentration so kills two birds with one stone!

6. Look at cute things:

Looking at cute things, like kittens, ducklings or piglets in blankets (not the food) has been shown to reduce stress and increase levels of your happy hormones. So, when you?re feeling down perk yourself up with some puppies! Here is a great article that should do the trick!

7. Take some time out:

Realistically, you can't work 24/7 no matter how many assignments they throw at you. The human brain can only work effectively for 4 hours at a time, and really for only 50 minutes on one subject (exactly how long the standard lecture is, funny that!) Allow yourself breaks and some time off. If you?ve been crazy-busy all day, take the evening off and get an early night. It?s far better to get up earlier than stay up later.

8. Mix it up:

Changing locations can help with stress. Staying in one place will not get the creative juices going. Work for a couple of hours in one room, and then set up camp in another. Leave the house and hit the library or a coffee shop. A change of scenery can do you a (whole new) world of good!

9. Have a bath:

Depending on how long you've been working, you may well be due a good scrub. But this is not the reason I suggest having a soak. Light some candles, squirt those bubbles and just stew for half an hour. The hot water will work wonders on sore, tired muscles and it's a great place to gather your thoughts.

10. Stay hydrated and energised:

Your brain won't be very happy with you if you let it get dehydrated. It won't be able to work and you'll get a headache. Keep a bottle of water permanently with you to have little sips on throughout the day. Accompany this with some tea because, well, tea fixes everything and plenty of food for energy. Before you know it it'll be deadline day and all your stress and worries will be over! Well, until the end of term? better stock up on bubble bath and tea bags!
anna pitts grb author

Anna Pitts studied English Language at the University of Sussex and was a marketing assistant and online researcher at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. She now works in Marketing and Advertising for Hearst Magazines UK.

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