How to Thrive During Times of Trials & Exams

Posted on: October 26, 2012 Category: Health & Wellness

Quick Little Update…

I just finished my last of exams yesterday. It feels bloody amazing! Whoohoooo! I can’t believe that ONE WHOLE YEAR of university studies has gone by again – just like that. Pretty psyched for having more free time to create, grow, and travel. Life is fantastic!

Today I wanted to talk about thriving during times of trials. Not just surviving, but thriving. Not just getting through it and getting it done – but enjoying every moment of it.

Let’s get started!


Stress can manifest itself in many symptoms, including:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Body ache
  • Loss of apptite
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • High blood pressues
  • Indigestion
  • Fatigue
That’s why it’s important to know HOW to thrive during times like these!

How to Thrive During Times of Trials & Exams

1. Maintain a Grade-A attitude

Mindset is everything. It’s all about what you think and believe in! During times of trials, it’s easy to sink into the whole “poor me, I’m a victim of hard times” victim status. Quit it! It’s not fun to be in that mode, and it certainly doesn’t do humanity any good (or make you fun to be around).

Stop wallowing in powerlessness. Claim back your own power and start keeping a positive attitude about things. It all gets better, I promise.

Expect great things. Expect things to easy. You’ll be surprised how you mostly get what you expect to get – so believe and expect yourself to achieve amazing results right up till the moment of truth. Be pleasantly surprised (or not-so surprised) when you manifest what you believe in!

Work smart. Work productively, do things that will help you and ask for help when you need it. Notice I said work smart.. not hard. Focus on output, not on the time you spend doing certain tasks.

Life is supposed to be fun, so have FUN! Treat every life experience as a chance to grow and BE amazing. Rock your exams, turn up at study groups with sparkles and giggles, and don’t forget to tell your friends, family, and yourself how much you L-O-V-E them.

2. Pass on getting into an energy debt cycle.

Don’t rely on caffeine and sugar to get you through the day. These substances provide a short-term boost in energy, but take your body into a state of energy debt. It’s easy to get addicted and into an energy debt cycle. They are acidic and rob important minerals such as calcium from your bones.

It’s the ever too familiar situation: You combat the mid-day slump with yet another cup of java, or reach out for the sugary treats when you feel tired again after a sugar crash.

It’s taxing to the body, and not to mention – unsustainable in the long run! Don’t put yourself in the risk of exhaustion, fatigue, and burning out your adrenals. The buzz you get ain’t worth it!

So… How do you get sustainable energy?

3. Eat for energy

We derive our energy from the foods we choose to consume. Maintaining a high quality diet is essential at all times, especially times where you may be under more stress. As you may be subject to anxiety or other forms of stress, it’s unnecessary to put your body under nutritional stress as well. Eat smart, eat for energy!

Healthy diet

Greens – Alkalize, alkalize, alkalize! Your body LOVES greens! I can’t rave enough about greens. They’re a nutritional powerhouse, providing you with phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals that will nourish your body and allow you to function at your highest potential. Load up on dark leafy greens like spinach, chard, kale. They are also loaded with magnesium, that helps with relaxation and combating stress.

Maca –A popular adaptogen and hormone regulator, this Peruvian superfood is great for supporting your body during stressful times. Its adaptogenic properties have shown to increase energy and stamina, aid in blood oxygenation, and rejuvenate exhausted adrenal glands. Add maca to your smoothie or mix it in coconut yoghurt. It’s great!

Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant found in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits as well as berries. This vitamin boosts your immune system, which is subject to stress from constant exposure to cortisol, the stress hormone. Not to mention it helps with the repair function and keeps your skin beautiful and glowing at all time!

B vitamins – B vitamins help protect our nervous system and promote brain function. However, stress also robs our body of many nutrients. Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables, and add more avocado, brazil nuts, bee pollen into your diet.

Omega-3 Fatty acids – These fatty acids including DHA and EPA play a role in brain function. They also reduce inflammation, regulate mood, and aid in routine memory function. Found in walnuts, flaxseeds, and fatty fish such as salmon and sardines.

4. Move and exercise

Make time for exercise each day – even if it’s just 30 minutes or a 10 minute walk/run/cycle. Getting out for fresh air and exercise is so vital. Put on some music or hits and dance in your room, I do it all the time – especially when my favourite song comes on… It’s totally fun!

Even 30 minutes of moving about can improve your performance exponentially. Regular exercise oxygenates our blood and decreases the risk of memory loss.

5. Create space in the mind and body

Yoga poses

You can do this by stretching, making sure you move about often and not just being glued to the chair. Close your eyes and relax the mind, meditate, or just go for a walk or cycle.

When we feel contracted in our body, we cannot create space in our mind or allow things to flow naturally. Taking 5 minute breaks to do yoga or sun salutations are also great ways to create space in your body, mind, and soul.

6. Create healthy and quick Meals

Here are some of my favourite quick meals and snacks:

Soup – A hearty chunky vegetable soup can be whipped up by blending tomatoes, and then throwing in your favourite vegetables and cooking it on the stove for 10-15 minutes.

Green smoothie – I can’t rave enough about green smoothies. You can literally add in 3 cups of spinach into your diet without even realizing it through having a smoothie – it’s amazing. A super easy and simple one is spinach, bananas, lemon juice and berries or apple.

Stir fry – I love cooking quinoa and then adding in vegetables and making a stir fry out of it. Tumeric, lemon juice, herbs, sea salt and you get a hearty meal!

Sprouted almonds – I like to grab a handful of sprouted almonds for a quick snack. Filled with healthy fats, vitamin E, and super alkalizing.

Bake – Chop up a colourful variety of vegetables (e.g peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic) and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes with coconut oil or vegetable stock. The time you actually need to prepare all this can be less than 5 minutes!

7. Take a nap

A research study done in 2011 showed that participants who too napped scored an average of 20 percentage points higher on the memory test. If you are feeling drained mid-day, pull back the curtains and get some shut eye for 30-40 minutes.

You’ll boost your memory, feel so much more refreshed, and be more productive in the evening!

8. Get good quality rest

Turn off electronics including internet and laptops while you’re asleep. Make sure you sleep in a dark room, as light exposure can affect our biological clock and sleep cycle. Draw down the blinds and shut all light sources in your room.

As you get more in sync with your biological clock, it’s also a good idea not to set your alarm clock and rather rely on your body clock to wake up naturally (as the sun rises). Alarm clocks interrupt the sleep cycle and keep sleep from completing naturally, causing sleep problems. The sound of the alarm also causes unnecessary stress.

9. Recruit your support team

Create and recruit your support team. My sister is a lovely person, and happily cleaned up the dishes everyday during my exam period. I am also blessed to have amazing friends at uni who study together with me which has been amazing. And not to mention… lovely people who send me supportive text messages to keep me going, and a wonderful family who gives me unconditional support and love!

Find a coach, tutor, supportive friends and family, people that you admire and like. It’s okay to ask for help – in fact, it’s an intelligent thing to do!

Recruit your support team. They are invaluable.


In summary:

Prepare yourself for success by nourishing your body through a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Prioritize the tasks at hand, schedule them, set daily achievable goals so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Listen to your body. Rest when you need to, and make sure to take things easy.
♥ Take on the mindset that every moment (including exams) is part of your life, and you have the power to choose to have fun with it. Take back your power, work smart, and expect great results.

 

Keep on rocking your life!
Jia Ni

P/S: If you have any feedback, ideas for upcoming posts/what you’d like to see more of, or want to leave a comment – Head over to the Facebook page here, or email me at jiani@jianiteo.com! x

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