Prepare young students for optimal performance

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DR ASHA PEMBERTON

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Despite the uncertainty of the current period, thousands of young people continue to prepare for the high-stakes exams set to begin in a few weeks. This period can be filled with panic, excitement or dread; none of which, in excess, allows optimum operation or performance. For exam students and their families, here are some general wellness strategies that can promote focus, calm, and best effort.

Coherent structure

Tweens and teens thrive on predictable and consistent lifestyles. At this point, your family may have developed a daily routine for the exam. This should be continued. Sudden changes, even with the best of intentions, can literally derail students. Times of relaxation and leisure are essential for mental well-being and should not be sacrificed.

Quality sleep

Although tempting, young people are not recommended to push themselves to extreme hours by forcing last minute revisions. Optimal rest is essential for the functioning of the brain. Tired minds and bodies just don’t work. Teens between the ages of 10 and 13 need more than eight hours of quality sleep per night. Remove devices and electronic media 30 minutes before bedtime. Create a fresh, uncluttered sleep environment and avoid caffeine or sugary drinks before bed. When young people constantly wake up groggy or irritable, more rest is needed. Plan review times wisely, early afternoon and evening, and make sure sleep is a priority.

Balanced diet

Like rest, our mind and body need proper and adequate nutrition and hydration. Highly processed foods offer few nutrients and can also lead to digestive issues, constipation, and bloating, all of which can be powerful distractions on exam day. Create meals of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and ground provisions. Prepare and feed your child the best quality foods and encourage them to drink water regularly throughout the day. There are many herbal preparations that claim to improve brain function and memory, some of which have not been tested or proven. Experimenting with new foods or supplements is not advised at this time, as allergic reactions or even abdominal complications may occur, which in turn will negatively affect preparation and performance.

mindfulness

The power of prayer, meditation, and connection to God cannot be overstated. Along with support, prayer and mindfulness help teens calm their thoughts and relieve anxiety. Exam candidates are expected to experience intense feelings of panic in the next few days and some may even have “irritable bowels” or other physical symptoms. Specific periods of calm time, relaxation, and positive imagery are mindfulness-based methods that are helpful.

These examinations and evaluations are a step in the overall life course of these young people. Their results do not define who they are, nor should they limit their beliefs in their abilities for the future. Take the time to polish them and prepare them to be their best. Beyond that, take the time to support them, to love them and to reassure them that no matter what, they are worthy and loved.


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