De-stress & boost brainpower with these 5 tips

Stress can be a great motivator, giving you a much needed kick of adrenaline that forces you to focus on your goals. But as we near the end of semester one, your course work may demand more of your attention and that small amount of ‘normal stress' may be developing into a full-blown freak out, particularly if this is your first year at TAFE.

Do you feel overwhelmed? Try these five tips to help you cope with study stress and get the job done:

1. Move

When life is busy, staying active is usually the first thing to drop off the list of priorities; you may find you end up spending any spare downtime vegetating on the couch watching Game of Thrones, rather than pounding the pavement. But according to Harvard University, exercise improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety. So, drop the remote and try this 5 minute workout for busy people.

2. Escape

When you are highly stressed you may tend to procrastinate more. Have you found yourself scrolling through your Facebook feed when you have a deadline looming? According to Psychology Today, that's a sign you're under pressure. Psychologist Timothy Pickhardt suggests taking a deep breath, turning off your phone and disconnecting from Social Media. Get comfortable and visualise yourself completing your goals. Visualisation helps make goals appear more achievable. Want to refocus right now? Stare at this video for 5 minutes and feel the zen…

3. Vent

Grab a pen and write your problems down. Articulating your thoughts into words may help you to find solutions, clearing your mind of clutter. If you are still feeling stressed about your workload chat to a classmate, book in some time to discuss your options with a careers counsellor or chat to your teacher. At TAFE you are never alone, we totally get the struggle you might be feeling, so speak up (after all, a problem shared is a problem halved).

4. Sleep

You may think that powering through until mid-night is the most productive use of your study time but according to neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay, 20 minutes of shuteye will provide more brainpower than a strong latte. Not only does sleep help improve your brains cognitive function, it will also enhance your short-term memory and boost your mood.

5. Nourish

Students are known for skipping meals and eating 2-minute noodles but according to the Dietitians Association of Australia, our brains function best when we eat a diet packed with lean protein, fresh produce and whole grains. Check out this healthy student meal plan for ideas

How do you cope with study stress?