How To Stay Happy During Exam Season
I know that this is the time that most of the student population is swamped with work and it can take a massive toll on our mental health. I’ve been there multiple times and I know how demotivating it can be. Just remember that it doesn’t have to be this way and you CAN make it better. I know I’m just an English student but I’ve done a lot of research on the science behind this so here is what I have to share:
In order to stay happy we need to balance our levels of the following hormones: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins – and doing this is easier than you’d think. So let’s go through them.
Dopamine is the reward chemical. It gets released every time we feel proud of ourselves for achieving something, and having balanced levels of dopamine helps us to feel satisfied and motivated. It’s basically the feeling we get when crossing things off of our to do list.
If you want to trigger dopamine more often you could break your workload into smaller tasks; every tick on the to-do list would be a little dopamine boost. You could also incorporate smaller tasks into your routine like making your bed, finishing a workout or cleaning your room.
Serotonin is the mood stabilizer. Low levels of serotonin can cause mood swings, problems with focus and memory and even insomnia.
So what are some things you could do to naturally increase your serotonin levels? One of the most effective ways is actually the sun! Take advantage of the fact that the weather is getting better and spend 10-15 minutes a day sitting outside soaking in some rays. If you want to treat yourself, you could also get a massage. Be careful about supplements and always seek medical advise because too much serotonin can also be dangerous.
Oxytocin is the love hormone. It can reduce stress and make you feel less alone and more connected to those around you.
You can increase your oxytocin levels naturally by hugging someone, listening to music that makes you feel good, spending quality time with friends or cuddling a pet. You could visit the cat cafe in coventry or keep an eye out for one of the doggy distress events that the uni hosts.
Endorphins are our natural pain killer. When they are released we experience a general feeling of wellbeing both mentally and physically. Low levels of endorphins can cause you to feel achey, lethargic and even lead to substance abuse.
Maintain your endorphin levels naturally through exercise, meditation or dancing. You could also get creative or get a good laugh in, either by spending time with friends or watching a comedy.
These are some things I try to incorporate into my routine when I notice that my mood is slipping. Feel free to message me or leave a comment down below if you have any questions or would like me to talk about something in more detail. Please remember that these are mostly preventative measures so don’t forget to reach out to wellbeing if you feel like you need extra support.
You can also check out some of the library Study Happy events in the link below: