Best of 2016!

best-of-2016Hi everyone.  Kellie and I were reflecting on the blog posts this year and thought it would be interesting to have a look at the stats and see what the most popular blog posts were for 2016.

#3 – Results, Results, Results….

In 3rd place, this post from July 2016 has huge relevance 2 or 3 times a year! Coming up to another grade release date, this post will likely get a few more hits in the next couple of weeks.  Take advantage of the wisdom of someone who has been there and done that.  Fantastic things to remember coming up to release of grades.

#2 – How many balls are you juggling?

This post from February 2016 is all about balance.  The post has some great tips and resources for finding the all elusive balance between work, study, relationships, self-care and fun.  An excellent reminder, I can see why this post nabbed the 2nd spot.

#1 – Pokemon Go: a journey through time and Mayfield

Coming in at number 1. This post from July 2016 by a guest blogger, outlines the benefits of Pokemon Go in a interesting an engaging article that concludes “being a gamer and a wellness enthusiast need not be mutually exclusive”.

Check out what everyone else was looking at that this year that you might have missed!


Technical Difficulties!

Computer Meltdown

 

Hi there.  We have been having a few technical difficulties with the website this week although it appears to be working now.  However, if there is no new activity (i.e. new blog posts) for a while then you can assume our technical difficulties have returned.  All the usual content will still be available, including past blog posts and tip sheets, and we will be doing our best to get things back on track asap.  Happy 2nd last day of exam block everyone!!


So what’s next?

I remember vividly that period of limbo after finishing the last exam of the semester (Yay) and waiting for final grades to be released (Eek).  I would have one foot in holiday mode and the other stuck in an avalanche of thoughts and self-doubt. “I nailed it…I think I probably passed…Did I do enough…Why didn’t I put C for question 33…Did I even spell my name write on that essay paper…Did I write in English…Oh my goodness I will fail everything, lose my job and the world will explode…”whats-next

Well you get the idea, and I am sure everyone has found themselves somewhere on this spectrum after an exam.  A great tool so the thought avalanche doesn’t bury you is mindfulness, or staying in the present.  This is so helpful when our heads are running back to the exam or forward to results that haven’t been released yet. Check out this blog post about mindfulness, My Smiling Mind is also a great app that gives access to guided mindfulness and relaxation exercises.

Whilst rehashing the past and trying to predict the future can be unhelpful and increase stress, it is good to be aware of support services and options available if your grades are not what you had hoped for.  Something I used to remind myself of when waiting for results was “there is always an alternative”.  Sometimes that alternative looks very different to our original plan, it may mean a redo of a subject or a different pathway to the same goal.  The Skype Drop-in Sessions or an appointment with a Student Support Advisor are a good forum for you to discuss some alternative options that might suit your individual situation and what you hope to achieve.

For those of you with exams left this week, good luck! For those of you who have finished, try and enjoy the present.  Worrying about what comes next can make you miss out on the fun to be had today.


Exam Hump Week

humpWell it’s Hump Week. The first week of Semester 2 exams are done and there is only one week to go after this Friday. Woo Hoo!!
I am guessing most people are pretty tired by this time of the year and just wish exams were all finished. I found myself struggling at work this morning with motivation, the end of the year is almost here and I was focused on that instead what I was supposed to be doing. In an effort to bring myself back from December 21st (start of holidays for me!), I thought about what a huge year it has been and everything that I have achieved. This seemed to give me the boost I needed to be motivated to achieve the other goals I had set for myself this year (and do some actual work!). Most of your attention is probably on your upcoming final exams, however, take a minute to think about everything you have achieved this year and everything you still want to achieve (like finishing semester 2).

halfway
Two important things to remember in hump week are: keep up that exam preparation and study and remember to look after yourself. Take advantage of the information on our website, there are a number of past blog posts on study planning and managing anxiety and panic around exams. We also have heaps of great tip sheets such as Exam Anxiety, Procrastination, Enhancing Cognitive Functioning and Relaxation Techniques, to name just a few. Amidst all the study, remember that you will function much better if you are practicing some self-care. Taking time to get a good night’s sleep, eating regular balanced meals, staying active and maintaining social connections will contribute to your general well-being and functioning. Taking some time away from study for self-care will actually help your concentration and memory. If you need some extra support during this time please don’t hesitate to contact student support on (02) 4921 6622. Good luck everyone!!


Fear + anxiety = Panic!

Fear and anxiety are natural reactions to scary events, when the fear and anxiety become overwhelming, you experience panic.  You might notice your heart pounding, sweating, trembling, difficulty breathing, chest pain, nausea, numbness, feeling detached from yourself, or fear you are losing control. The difference between anxiety and panic is that when it’s panic it erupts suddenly and peaks within 10 minutes. So what’s happening to you? Well from a physical sense panic is caused by a surge of adrenaline being released into your bloodstream. Adrenalin is designed to prepare your body for fight or flight. So you stay and work your way through the panic or you run.

If you are going to stay and work your way through you might need to develop some tools in identifying and challenging the negative thoughts like the one “I’m losing control” or “I’m going crazy” and replacing them with “The adrenalin will pass” or “When this passes I will be able to focus”. You will also find it useful to try and control and slow your breathing to combat the adrenalin burst or some grounding techniques. This Way Up have a good resource with a few things you can try and some more information about panic attacks and panic disorder if you are looking for some additional information or assistance.

If you can feel your anxiety rising as you are preparing for exams then take a look at some of these resources and prepare to stay and fight through the panic. Panic doesn’t have to get in the way of you reaching your goals, it is usually short in duration, so hang in there and you will be on top again.


The material or views expressed on this Blog are those of the author and do not represent those of the University.  Please report any offensive or improper use of this Blog to RPS@newcastle.edu.au.
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