Christmas and the new year are approaching fast, and the few weeks before term starts again are the ideal time to get a fresh start.
How can students make the most of the Christmas holidays? Here at InnerDrive, we have come up with 7 things that we think would be useful for students to do over the holidays that will help them make a positive start to 2019.
1. Re-visit studied material
The Christmas holidays provide a good opportunity for students to review information learnt the previous term. Starting the revision process early makes preparing for end of year exams less stressful. It also allows for more effective revision processes to be used, as students don’t have to resort to cramming in as much as they can in the days (even hours) before an exam.
Instead, students can space out their learning, meaning that they have enough time to forget and re-learn information, increasing the chance it will be committed to the long-term memory and retrievable in exams.
2. Take time to exercise
Not only does exercise bring physical health benefits, research has also shown that it can improve mood, as it causes the release of endorphins, which trigger positive feelings. One study, which asked people to rate their mood immediately after physical activity or a period of inactivity, found that those who engaged in physical exercise felt more content, awake and calmer. The effect of exercise was also greatest when mood was initially low, a finding that highlights just how important exercising could be.
3. Set goals for the new year
The new year provides a perfect chance for students to set new goals. Setting goals has a positive impact, helping students improve their effort, attention and persistence.
Goals should be challenging but realistic and written down, with family members being involved in the process, as this commits students to them, making their efforts more focused.
4. Create healthy routines
Similarly, students should get into the habit of eating a healthy breakfast, high in fibre each morning. Research has demonstrated that breakfast could be particularly helpful for those studying for mocks in January.
In one particular study, it was found that students who skipped breakfast or only had an energy drink performed worse in attention and memory tasks when compared to those who had eaten breakfast.
5. Improve self-awareness
Improving their self-awareness would be a productive way for students to spend their Christmas holidays, as students who are self-aware tend to act more consciously. Meaning, they make better decisions, have a more positive outlook on life and higher levels of well-being.
One way in which students can improve their self-awareness is through evaluating their strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of these means that students can work on their weakness and seek help if it is needed to make the necessary improvements.
6. Read our book
Our award-winning book Release Your InnerDrive is the perfect read for the Christmas holidays, and will help students start off the new year on the right foot.
Written by Chartered Psychologist Bradley Busch and InnerDrive founder Edward Watson, our book is filled with the latest research and helpful graphics, which create a fun and accessible guide to help students fulfil their potential. It covers a wide range of topics, including goal setting, performance under pressure, and excellence in exams, topics which are particularly useful for students preparing for January.
Whilst a little stress can improve performance, too much stress can become debilitating and have detrimental effects on well-being. Even if students have revision to do it is important that they set aside some days to relax and unwind, as the quality of the revision is as important as the quantity. Students could relax by socialising with friends, exercising, watching films etc.
The Christmas holidays not only offer students a chance to relax and unwind, but also an opportunity to prepare and make a positive start to the new year.
Students could do this through creating revision resources they can later use for studying, setting themselves challenging but realistic goals to allow them to track their progress, and setting in motion healthier routines.