7 things you can do to get your brain back on track
BSM’s Psychologist, Dr. Steffenson, has been helping students ease their way back into school after a relaxing summer. “The first week is always the most difficult because you are on summer-time and when school revs up so fast it becomes overwhelming,” said Steffenson. In this grueling transition time, KE has multiple methods you can take advantage of to get yourself back into the groove of school.
September 22, 2014
1. Pack on the Protein
You’ve heard it over and over again––always have a healthy and fulfilling breakfast; It is a key component to setting your body up for a successful day. Protein aids in regulating almost every major part in the body including bones, blood, intestines, and yes—your brain. This nutrient provides amino acids to help the brain function properly and stay alert throughout the day. While breakfast may be the most important time of the day to have protein, consuming it often and at every meal is vital.
What you can do: Have eggs or yogurt for breakfast and bring some nuts such as almonds or peanuts for a protein-filled snack during the day.
2. Plan, Plan, Plan
Using a planner is tedious, but staying on track with homework and extracurricular activities is worth the two extra minutes it takes to efficiently manage your tight schedule. By writing what is due, you create a self-check system to prioritize assignments as well as relieve some stress. It is also important to plan out extra time each night for large projects and tests in order to avoid frazzlement and all- nighters. The most crucial part of this process is to write your assignments down during class so your brain doesn’t slip when you attempt to fill out your planner during eight hour.
What you can do: Purchase an inexpensive planner that is easy to keep with you throughout day and discover which layout is the easiest for you to follow.
3. Create a Study System
Each and every student have different ways in which they study the best. First , see if you are able to take in information more easily either in the morning or at night and create a study routine. Studying should not ever begin the day of a test. As soon as you know the test date, create a timeline throughout the week allowing extra time to study specifically for that test. By spacing out the information daily, it allows for more knowledge when the test day comes. Finding different and interesting ways to study also keeps you from falling asleep while flipping through notes. However, motivation is key, “What you say is what you get,” Steffenson said. The more driven and committed you are to doing your best, the better grades you will receive.
What you can do: Find out what works best for you and change it up by having a snack (refer to tip 1 listed above) in between notes or even study with a group of classmates at a coffee shop.
4. Get Fit
Studies show that being active helps get the brain ready to take in more information by releasing endorphins. This is a stimulant released in the brain that balances your “happy level” called serotonin. By exercising just 30 minutes and balancing serotonin, you can reduce your anxiety and stress level. “A part of our brain, the hippocampus, is responsible for learning and memory. When exercising, it becomes stimulated and improves cognitive function.” Steffenson said. Exercising daily also helps relieve stress and take a mental break.
What you can do: You don’t have to run a 5K or start to bench press your weight—all that’s necessary is 30 minutes of walking or even dancing around with some friends.
5. Review new material
Doing homework for seven classes a night is a lot, but taking an extra minute per class can help in boosting comprehension. After you have completed a worksheet or any other homework, take one minute to glance over any new material. This will help in understanding new concepts and help you realize if extra tutoring or help is necessary outside of class.
What you can do: Take 10 minutes maximum to skim over new material to help grasp new concepts.
During the first couple weeks of school, hugs and summer memories are not the only thing being shared. The colds are coming back and can really take a toll on the body. In order to prevent sickness, it is essential to support your immune system with daily vitamins and fish oils. Not only do they maintain immune health, but they also help control moods by increasing the serotonin levels.
What you can do: Purchase fish oils and vitamins at your local grocery or drugstore. Otherwise, you can always increase your intake in these by eating more fruit and fish about four times a week.
7. Put away the electronics
You’ve heard your parents tell you countless times to put your phone down, but for once they are actually right. By putting Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Clash of Clans and all other technology away, you are able to be more productive and focus on the task at hand. Although it is tempting to be on your phone before you hit the hay, it actually stimulates the brain, making it difficult to fall asleep right away. The more sleep the better so you can meet the day head on without dozing off in class.
What you can do: Keep your phone in a different room than your study space and put your phone away at least 30 minutes before you climb into bed.