At this time of the year we are often asked for advice on ways to help students cope with the stress of studying for the HSC. Unfortunately for many students, Year 12 is a year of high pressure, not only studying, but often working and of course socialising. When we add all these factors into the mix students often find themselves becoming unwell with colds and flu as well as feeling quite tired and overwhelmed by their workload.
It is important to take steps earlier rather than later, before that final onslaught of last-minute study and pressure of final exams. Yes, it is important to put lots of energy into organising a study programme, but without good health, achieving those good results is going to be so much harder.
So, what can we do to help achieve good health as well as good results? A great idea would be to begin taking B Vitamins which may be helpful in providing the body with energy, whilst nourishing the adrenal glands. B Vitamins aid in the conversion of carbohydrates to glucose which the body burns to produce energy and play a necessary part in the metabolism of fats and protein. B Vitamins are believed to be a great nutrient to the nervous system and very important in times of stress.
If, however you are feeling particularly stressed and anxious, I could well be worthwhile taking a herbal formula to address these problems. I love the herbs Withania and Rhodiola. Withania also known as Indian Ginseng may be beneficial for not only easing stress but also increasing energy and endurance whilst under stress. Because Withania is an adaptogen herb it is able to adjust to psychological as well as physiological stress which is valuable when treating and avoiding stress. It may also be helpful in soothing the nervous system, treating anxiety and preventing nervous exhaustions, Rhodiola is also an adaptogen herb which is thought to allow our body to cope with stress more effectively. It is also said to be helpful in strengthening the nervous system, improving memory and concentration as well as increasing energy levels. It is believed Rhodiola may increase serotonin levels, helping improve moods and lowering stress levels.
High doses of certain herbs may also be used to improve and maintain cognitive function and combat stress. It is believed herbs such as Brahmi can be helpful in this area. Brahmi is a well-known brain tonic used to treat insomnia and stress and is known as an effective "brain food" which may increase mental clarity and brain function.
It is also extremely important to maintain a good immune system, particularly during winter. Missing assignment deadlines or even worse exams due to illness, is not what a student wants during this time. A combination of Andrographis, Echinacea and Olive Leaf may be helpful in warding off those dreaded colds and flu.
It goes without saying of course that a good healthy diet is also important - lots of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as wholegrains. Imperative also is drinking lots of water - 2 litres a day. Dehydration is not at all conducive to mental alertness. It also goes without saying sufficient sleep is important at this time. Chill out - yes easier said than done, however exercise and stretching does help clear your mind and relax.
Sometimes using aromatherapy oils can be helpful especially when dispersed through an aromatherapy diffuser. An invigorating blend of peppermint, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary and lemon essential oils may stimulate and help with mental clarity. To help with busy, stressed minds a combination of vetver, sweet orange, cedarwood, sandalwood and lavender may be useful. If you're having trouble sleeping, setting up a diffuser in your bedroom at night and diffusing a combination of marjoram, sandalwood, roman chamomile, lavender and rose geranium can often be helpful.
Last, but not least, when going into exams pop a few drops of Rescue Remedy under the tongue - it does wonders to calm the nerves.
For more information on health issues call in to see Bev and the team at Go Vita, Your Health Shop in 5 North St, Batemans Bay or call on 0244729737. Don't forget to tune into Bev every Wednesday on 2EC at 12.30pm on Go Get Healthy.