Would you rather be in Paris? Well, this is the next best thing. The workshop “Calm your brain and have a croissant” is the perfect revision get-away. How about starting your unpleasant revision days off right? This stress-releasing workshop includes a free breakfast and is perfect for anyone feeling the pressure of exams.
When Isabella and I attended this workshop, one of the very first questions we were asked at the start was “How are your brains doing?” to which many responded “tired”, “frustrated”, “easily distracted”, “anxious” and so on (perhaps you can relate). The facilitator then went on to explain that this is all very normal, however there are a few things we can do to help our minds through this busy period. Anxiety occurs when our brains aren’t focused on the present and are too fixated on worries about the future or the past. Thus, to help everyone combat their feelings of anxiety, this workshop will teach you three different techniques that can make you feel more relaxed and focused.
Three-minute breathing space
The facilitator created a relaxing atmosphere and asked us all to close our eyes or to look at the floor, and focus on our bodies. We then gently moved on to concentrating on our breathing. He reminded us that our brains would naturally begin to wander and once we recognised where our thoughts were heading, we simply needed to refocus on our breathing. This whole technique (as you can guess from the title) should last about three minutes. After opening my eyes and feeling that relaxed fuzzy feeling flow through my body (or maybe that’s just me), the facilitator asked for some feedback. We soon discovered that it didn’t matter how many times our mind would wander, but rather why it is important to practise bringing your mind back to focus on your breathing and thus becoming more aware on the ‘here and now’ rather than on stuff we can’t really control. Another little tip he gave us was to keep practising this in order to get better at it.
This one I would only do in front of close friends or by myself because you might feel a little silly. It involves tensing various parts of your body including your arms, shoulders, feet, legs and finally your face (which kind of looks like you’re taking an intense snap chat). Just holding these positions for 5-10 seconds and then relaxing can help your whole body feel a little less tense and all the more ready to carry on revising.
This meditation technique is one of the oldest in the book, and it involves putting yourself in a relaxed state (your bed doesn’t count) by creating images in your mind. After closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing and how your body feels, you pick a “happy place” (for example Paris!). You imagine the colours, smells and sounds of that place and simply settle your mind in that spot. After a while, you envisage taking a path back to reality and open your eyes. Welcome back to the present! After calming your mind you should be feeling ready to go!
Sometimes it’s necessary to take a break from revision in order to continue working efficiently. This workshop only lasts around thirty minutes, which is perfect: not too long so you feel like you’re wasting time, but long enough to help you feel rejuvenated when you go back to your revision. The free breakfast is also a really nice pick-me-up, whether you are having it or not (I know I would never say no to free food either). So next time you’re feeling stressed, anxious or worried because of the upcoming exams, why not pop in and take an imaginary trip to Paris? I must admit that this workshop is quite popular, so make sure you secure a place to one (or more!) of our sessions now by accessing this link.
Don’t forget to tweet us your exam survival techniques or post below any questions you may have regarding the extra support we offer this month.
Best of luck with your revision and exams!
By Joe & Isabella from the Student Team