Feel Good Focus: January

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Date: 01 January - 31 January 2018

This month's Feel Good Focus is about helping you beat the January Blues and giving you top tips to get through the exam period.

Beat the January blues

In order to keep yourself in a positive mood, you could follow some of the advice below.

Mood foods - Eat oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna), nuts and seeds as these foods are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids block chemicals called cytokines that can cause low mood.

Eat breakfast - Skipping breakfast can lead to low blood sugar, which can affect energy and mood. Try porridge as it is filling, warm and contains B vitamins, iron and zinc while keeping blood glucose levels steady.

Try topping your porridge with fruit, seeds and nuts to mix things up!

Exercise - There is a strong link between exercise and mood; within five minutes after moderate exercise, you get mood-enhancement mood. Research also shows that exercise can help your mood on a longer-term basis too, while also helping with stress and anxiety.

Regular exercise helps boost 'feel good' chemicals in the brain such as endorphins and serotonin. We offer many sports clubs, from American Football to Windsurfing - there's something for everyone.

Sleep - Make sure you have a regular sleeping pattern of seven to eight hours per night while keeping your bedtime and waking times consistent.

Don't nap during the day as this can make you feel lethargic and may affect your quality of sleep at night.

Socialise - Many studies have linked wellbeing to being social. Make sure you take the time to go out with friends or join a society.

Societies are a great way to meet new people and have a good time.

Top revision tips

1. Create a revision timetable
Research shows that revising for 20-40 minutes at a time works best as concentration starts to decrease after 40 minutes, so schedule in short frequent breaks. It is also recommended to mix up the order of subjects you're revising in one day.

2. Exercise
Exercise is very important during the exam period as it helps reduce stress, tiredness and anxiety while boosting your memory and wellbeing.

30 minutes moderate exercise after a day of revision will make a huge difference to your wellbeing.

3. Find a quiet space
Find a quiet place where you can revise uninterrupted for a few hours such as your room or the library.

Avoid busy places such as coffee shops and places with TV's and music to avoid distraction.

4. Make summary notes
Summary notes are a great way to help you memorise information rather than just reading and highlighting textbooks. Even though this may seem tedious, repeatedly making notes is the best way to memorise information.

Flash cards are a good way to condense your notes and you can learn on the go.

5. Start early
To make the most of your summary notes, it is important you allow yourself enough time.

Research shows that revision should be spread into several session rather than in one long session last minute.

6. Get some sleep
Avoid all-nighters at all costs. Sleep is fundamental in allowing memories to consolidate; information recall becomes stronger and information becomes easier to access after sleep

7. Reward yourself
It's important to get a good balance between study and leisure, especially during the exam period.

After a productive day of revision, go out to the cinema or for dinner with friends to relax, reduce stress and enjoy yourself.

Dry January

Millions of people take part in Dry January every year with the aim to start a conversation about alcohol and to enable us to take control of our relationship with alcohol.

By taking part, you might feel healthier, save money, be able to sleep and concentrate better and take a break from hangovers.

You may even discover a love for mocktails, there cheap and they taste great!

Why not take the opportunity to raise money for charities during Dry January such as Cancer Research, Bloodwise and British Liver Trust?

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