Chinese Student Section: Making the most of your last semester by keeping healthy

By Tiffany Lo – Studying at University of Birmingham 
This article is sponsored by Superdrug

Here comes the most stressful period of the year for all students- our LAST SEMESTER! As much time as you will need to spend on study, you will need to remain in a good healthy condition to fight for good grades!

Here are a few tips for you to maintain a good quality of life during this nerve-racking-exams-month!

STRETCH A LITTLE

Remaining in a face-down position for an extended period of time may cause neck and shoulder pain. A few yoga poses are recommended for releasing tensions in your body. My suggestion for the pose to restore balance to the spine is called ‘Cakravakasana’: starting in a table-top position, inhale and flatten your back, lift your chest away from your belly while bringing your shoulder blades towards each other. On your exhale, sit your hips towards your heels and collapse your chest over your belly. Bring your elbows to the floor. Repeat for a few times.

The good thing about stretching exercises is it can be done almost anywhere. Try this convenient foam exercise mat from Tunturi with you for easy use on the move, at home or in the gym. Its 15mm thick for plenty of comfort and perfect for stretching, yoga, pilates. Available at Superdrug for £19.99. 

For an alternative choice, you can get a foam roller online or in Sports Direct. It massages your back to relax muscles, increase core strengths and improves circulation.

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TAKE A BATH

There is always time for a bath- It only takes 15-20 minutes. Bathing in high temperature relaxes your body and mind, and decrease your level of stress and discomfort. Having an irregular eating and sleeping habit may cause an imbalance in your hormones, and by bathing in warm water, it increases your level of serotonin that makes your feel happy! Get a LUSH bathing bomb and a candle. Light it up, and enjoy yourself!

GET YOURSELF A RESISTANCE TUBE/BODY BANDS

Fitness plans seem impossible during this hectic period. The gym is too far away, and it takes too much time to get changed, warm up, run/jog, cool down, and take a shower. However, this is not the case for resistance band exercises. You can do a full body workout anywhere with this band, including the area outside your uni library, your home-sweet-home, or in a café. There are plenty of tutorials online. Spare 10-15 minutes following some tutorials on Youtube, it will boost your energy and concentration levels. Believe me; it helps you to memorise key points!

OVERNIGHT OATS

We all agree that sleeping time is very precious, right? Overnight oats saves you A LOT of time in the morning and reduces the breakfast hassle you get every day. It only takes a few minutes before you sleep to prepare for this nutritious breakfast: you’ll need a cup of rolled oats, a spoon of honey/sugar, and a cup of milk/soya milk. Mix it all together in a container. Cover it with cling film. Put in the fridge and leave it overnight. That’s it! You can also add your favourite dried/fresh fruits to your oats! I personally suggest banana and raisins!

FRAGRANCE OIL

Fragrance oil can be applied on your pillows (just a few drops), or used in a diffuser. Different fragrances affects our bodies differently. For you and I – who are suffering in exam stress and depression, we will need:

1. Clary Sage (prevents depression, reduces recurrent headaches, eases mental strain)

2. Lemon (prevents depression, strengthens immune and nervous system, promotes digestion)

3. Neroli (confidence boosting, reduces anxiety, bactericidal)

4. Lavender (improves sleep, slows aging, reduces anxiety and emotional stress)

I hope you’ll find these tips useful.

At the end of the day, remember these:

1. Have a regular sleeping habit

2. Limit distractions

3. Socialise with others. Study with friends!

4. Exercise, and have a healthy diet!

5. Take a break!

6. Try some Westlab Epsom Salt 500g £3.99 available here.

Happiness can be found during exams period too!

Best of luck, friends! We are all, here, together!

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