December not only brings holiday cheer and home cooked meals with relatives, but for those of us in the throes of higher education, it means… FINALS. A time when college folks bury their heads in books and pull all nighters trying to remember everything they learned in the past semester. (We certainly don’t miss those days!) With all that stress, it’s easy to resort to making unhealthy choices, which only result in a short-term gain. Follow these simple tips to survive finals week and in the end you’ll be healthier for it (and hopefully get those straight A’s):
1. Go bananas!
Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, which help deliver oxygen to the brain to keep your mind sharp. Avoid energy drinks and sugary foods that make you crash. Put down the Skittles!
2. Light a rosemary candle
Turn your dorm room into an at-home spa by lighting some aromatic candles. Natural scents have a direct path to the brain and increase oxygen flow. Rosemary is recommended for increasing memory and help disguise that mysterious odor you’ve been trying to identify for months.
3. Stay awake with peppermint or cinnamon
Feeling yourself dozing off? Put the Red Bull and your friend’s Adderall down… that is no good for your body. Try taking a whiff of peppermint or cinnamon to awaken your senses! Check out some of the other health benefits of cinnamon from Dr. Wendy Bazilian’s Cinnamon Challenge.
4. Do some simple yoga moves
Before you hit the books, hit the mat. Yoga helps you concentrate and stretch out those other muscles you aren’t flexing by sitting at your desk for hours. Try the Warrior III Pose (pictured above), and these 5 yoga moves to stretch out the stress.
5. Get a massage
Your brain can only absorb so much information, so take a study break at the spa. Getting a massage creates chemical changes in your body that reduce pain and stress. It can also help you avoid getting sick while your body is under a great amount of stress. After a 50 minute massage, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to face those exams. Check out our December Spa Deals for some options near you.
6. Get 8 hours of sleep
You may think your brain is turned off while you’re sleeping, but it’s working just as hard. A process called memory consolidation occurs during sleep. While your body may be resting, your brain is busy processing the information you obtained throughout the day. There’s no point in cramming for a test if you aren’t going to retain anything!