How to adopt a balanced approach to study


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6th year is a demanding year but it can’t be all about study. It is really important to maintain good social connections, get exercise and plenty of rest. Take heed of the advice given here to develop a healthy approach to study.

Socialise – Don’t sacrifice your friends for study. You will need the support of your friends to help you get through this year. Don’t shut them out. But be sensible about how much time you spend socialising.

Rest –  You need at least 8 hours of sleep a night in order to be able to maintain the stamina of 6th year. A good night’s sleep gives you the energy you need to concentrate in school and maintain a good level of study. Studying too late can upset your circadian rhythms and lead to restlessness and inability to sleep. If you aren’t getting enough sleep you put your health at risk, as your immune system is affected leaving you susceptible to colds and flu, your memory is affected making it more difficult to study and process thoughts and your energy levels are reduced. So it is vital to ensure your body and mind gets downtime and rest.

Down Time – Leisure time and down time are essential. Exercise is a really good way to release stress and tension. So find the time to play football, go for a walk or a run. Down time should be built into everyday. It is impossible to keep going without taking a break. Therefore I am a great advocate of having a cut off time. For me it was always 9pm. You need to stop studying at a reasonable hour and allow your mind time to switch off before going to bed. You need to give yourself at least an hour of relaxation time. Remember the importance of a good night’s sleep –  you owe yourself down time to prepare your body for rest.

Exercise – Reduce rather than remove sporting commitments. It may not be possible to train 3 times a week and have matches at the weekend but you don’t need to quit sport altogether. It is healthy to take exercise during the week.

Healthy diet – eat well, avoid skipping meals. This will be a demanding year for you and your health needs to remain in check. Eat three meals a day with healthy snacks in between. Don’t over indulge in caffeine. It will adversely affect your sleep. Some foods that have been cited as brain foods include:  Broccoli & dark green veg, oily fish, wholegrains, berries, nuts, tomatoes, apples.

And finally, stay positive: through studying regularly and recording your study you can be proud of the effort you are putting in and reward yourself. If you completed all study sessions this week treat yourself with something small; buy a magazine, watch a movie, have a soak in the bath, whatever you consider to be a treat and makes you feel good about yourself.

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