Food For Thought, lifestyle, Mental Health

Six Ways To Tackle Stress In The Exam Period

By Lauren Chancellor

Lauren takes the pen to give us all a well-needed advice (or six) on how to deal with the turmoil that is exam stress.

Another term, another set of exams. Your assessment period is a time of stress and anxiety, something nearly every student dreads. With most of your free time spent cramming in extra revision and worrying about your end result, it can be as exhausting as it’s unpleasant.

Here are some simple tips to help you unwind and de-stress from the pressures of exams:

Positive vibes – Maintaining a positive outlook can stop you from losing your head whilst waiting for your results. Don’t waste your remaining days of freedom worrying, think positive thoughts and more important, spread positivity. Remember it is not just you going through the stress of exams, so being a Negative Nelly around other people is probably going to bring them down too.

Hard earned rest – For now, it’s time to say goodbye to the revision time table, the highlighters can go back in the draw and you can return your library books. Now it’s time to calm down and find your inner Zen. Take a nap, take two naps, wake up at midday instead of 9am – you do you.

Socialise – The chances are, you haven’t seen the social hours of daylight in long time. However, now your exams are over, and it’s time to venture into the real world, once again. Sharing downtime with your friends is a great way to relax after the exam period: watching movies, playing sports, going shopping etc.

Accept what’s done is done – When you leave that exam hall the power is out of your hands, and the sooner you accept that the better. What’s done is done, and what will be will be. Allowing yourself to fall into turmoil about what you could have done differently is pointless and can very quickly become exhausting. To avoid this, refrain from talking to people from your class about the exam and just focus on getting your results.

Have a back-up plan – on the off chance things really didn’t go to plan, having a plan of action is a great way to relieve anxiety and to help you continue moving forward with your studies. Make yourself familiar with re-sit dates and where you need to be.

Celebrate – whether it’s with your classmates, housemates or your family – you’ve worked hard over the past month and your hard work should be rewarded. Whether you go out for a celebratory meal or a few drinks in town, get out and let your hair down!

School and university is stressful for the most students, even those who don’t have exams. It’s important to remember that your body needs time to relax and rest. Be aware that your fellow peers may be feeling the pressures from their studies, and be mindful.


Veganism is on the rise

“Veganism rises by 360% in 10 years”

The Telegraph published an article Wednesday showcasing the statistics that over the past 10 years, Veganism has risen by a phenomenal 360%; a massive win for the Vegan community showing how many more people are choosing compassion with this cruelty-free lifestyle.

The article states that a survey by The Vegan Society shows that the number of Vegans in the UK has risen to 542,000 people (and this is just the over 15’s), up from 150,000 in 2006. The Vegan Society claims Veganism is one of Britain’s “fastest growing lifestyle movements“. 

Veganism is a lot easier now days, with thousands of suitable food options for people; supermarkets are filled with these, I went to Morrison’s the other day and saw they were even selling a Vegan sandwich ‘meat’, which I’d only previously seen in specialist places like Holland and Barrett. It’s amazing and shows that these companies will listen to the demand.

The article touches on the health benefits of the lifestyle, and shows Veganism in such a positive light, that not many media sources will. It’s really great for a national newspaper like The Telegraph to publish this online.

Check out the article here.


Why diets suck

So, I think pretty much all of us at one stage in our lives have tried a ‘dreaded diet’, people trying to lose weight to be like the shiny magazine models whose edited bodies are plastered everywhere, trying to get inside your head that this is the only ‘norm’ – and fair enough, there’s nothing wrong with looking like that, there’s nothing wrong with looking any certain way, but not when you’re putting your body through hell. Anyways, 9.999999 times that diet has failed right? Why? because diets suck.

When you’re dieting, it’s usually all based on calorie restriction.  Carbs are bad!! Don’t eat sugar!! No fats!! This is why it never works! When you’re restricting yourself, your brain tries to go against you, therefor why you get huge cravings because you’re not satisfied with what you’re eating and this can end in binges. Your body is in a caloric deficit and will be running on nothing. The same goes with carbs, so many diets out there say to reduce your carb intake to barley nothing – this is stupid, your body’s cells need glucose which we get from carbs like potatoes, pasta, even fruits, to turn into energy, depriving it of that is going to cause your body to want to shut down, you’ll be fatigued and feel like shit. These diets ARNT going to work for a long period of time, they’re unrealistic, make you obsessed with your weight and can ultimately be dangerous to your physical and mental health.

Harder to do than say is too really try appreciate yourself for who you are, if you’re happy with your body then who the hell cares how much you weigh as long as you’re healthy. And really, if you do want to become healthier, the plant-based lifestyle really is the best, our bodies thrive on fruits and veggies and carbs. If you’re eating less calorie dense foods and replacing them with foods like these plant foods that you can eat more of for the same amount of calories, you’re going to feel fuller and more satisfied. Diets are total shite and you should never make yourself and your body unhappy trying to lose a few pounds, it’s really not worth it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to lose/gain weight, as long as you’re being kind to yourself in the process. Love yourself. Diets suck.



Dealing with Exam Season

It’s that time of year again, the dreaded exam season. Whethers it’s GCSE’s or ALevels exam season is hurrendous, so let’s face it we could all do with little things to make our lives easier.

Take time for yourself as hard as it can be make sure you’re taking time away from revision, socialise, if you look after your brain your brain will look after you.

Plan a revision strategy when I was doing my GCSE’s I set up a revision timetable to enable me to manage my time effectively, scheduling breaks at intervals to avoid boredom will increase your overall productivity.

Eat Breakfast one you won’t be distracted by a rumbling tummy but you’ll feel overall better in yourself.

Revising in groups is really useful, you can help eachother fill in gaps within your memory of what you’ve learnt, and overall just have a  much better time.

They’re not the end of the world, there’s always alternatives, if an exam doesn’t go great that’s okay, there are always ways to redeem yourself. Nothing is ever definitive, your whole future doesn’t rest on a bit of paper.

And last of all, good luck.

Jess Corp

Could an Apprenticeship be for you?

I was always one of those highly cynical people that apprenticeships were just created in order to gain cheap labour. But a year later, I found myself doing an apprenticeship.

In October last year I began to realise that college wasn’t for me, (two months in, good going). At this point I was like s*** I’ve tied myself down for two years doing something that I hate, but there is always another option.

I’ve been doing my apprenticeship for a month now, and in that time I’ve learnt more about design than I have over the last two year, purely out of trial and error and needing to. If you’re someone who learns best by physically doing, then an apprenticeship could well be for you.

An apprenticeship can take you right through from post 16 to degree level, and the best bit? You’re earning while you learn.

Apprenticeships aren’t just for engineering and construction anymore! Check out my article on post 16 choice if you’re a little confused about what comes next after your gcse’s, or check out the government website to see apprenticeship vacancies near you.