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Supporting loved ones and their stress levels during school and university exams

Spa-inspired at home ideas to help you relax while you study

As we move towards the summer months, parents, teenagers, teachers and anyone living with someone about to do their school or university exams will know the anxiety and tension it can bring. Sitting exams is a right of passage, but it comes with its difficulties, and having ways to help relieve stress before, during and after exams helps you to have a better experience all round. With our spa hat on, here are a few ideas.

Exercise for stress

Exercise is always promoted as a positive way to help you manage stress, and when you're studying, hunched over a desk for large portions of the day, it's particularly helpful to remember to get up and move a bit. Whether you go for a walk, a run, a swim, a game of tennis with friends or a workout in the gym, it all helps to relieve tension, boost those feel good hormones and generally feel better in yourself.

*Bonus points for getting out into nature and the fresh air.

mental health
Discover spa suggestions for everyday mental health exercises|Find out more

Nutrition and stress

We know that eating well is good for our health in general, but as well as giving us the right kind of energy so we can focus through revision, studying and exams, nutrition can also help us manage stress. By boosting our good gut bacteria we help to give the body what it needs to manage stress and promote healing across the body, improving our immune responses and generally being more resilient. Try to incorporate lots of gut boosting ingredients such as fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir), different grains and plenty of vegetables. Vitamin C is great for the adrenal glands (stress glands), which use more vitamin C than any other part of the body as well. You will find lots of it in brightly coloured fresh fruit and vegetables like kiwis, red peppers and citrus fruit.

*Bonus points for reducing your intake of refined sugar which can contribute to an imbalance in gut bacteria.

gut health
Read about gut health|Find out more

Aromatherapy and stress

Aromatherapy is such a beautiful, easy experience to help boost your mood. You can really have a powerful impact on your feelings just by breathing in different essential oils - pop a couple of drops on a tissue for example to help you relax during your studies. For example, lemon is stimulating and increases productivity, frankincense is great for a slump, lavender can help ease a headache and improve relaxation, rosemary is good for the memory and peppermint is good for brainstorming.

*Bonus points for making time for an aromatherapy massage for extra feel-good-factor.

Aromatherapy bath
Wellbeing through Aromatherapy: how your sense of smell can change how you’re feeling|Find out more

Massage and stress

There are so many benefits to massage, while it often gets earmarked as simply a nice thing to do (and it is), it's also a really wonderful way to support mental and physical wellbeing.

For starters, the healing power of touch that we get through massage is, in itself, extremely valuable. Reader's Digest wrote: “The main hormone and neurotransmitter affiliated with human touch is oxytocin. Research has found that oxytocin contributes to levels of relaxation, trust, and psychological stability. In addition, brain oxytocin has been found to reduce stress responses, including anxiety.”

The National Institutes of Health have also written about the effectiveness of a 15 minute weekly massage in reducing physical and psychological stress in nurses, finding that it had a positive impact on psychological stress levels.

*Bonus points for making time for regular massages - even if it's just convincing a good friend or partner to rub your shoulder for a bit.

A spa gift voucher is a beautiful way to say 'well done' to a friend or loved one sitting exams this year, helping them relax and unwind while they await their results. Why not explore the options?

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