It’s happened. You finally had to bring that report card home with a big red D on it. The good news is that it isn’t the end of the world, it’s not even the end of the semester! With a little guidance and some subtle changes, you can soon wipe the frown off mom’s face when you place that test with a big, bright A on top of it down on the kitchen counter.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the young adult you know you can be? Do you see yourself dressed as a future Doctor, Lawyer, or Airline Pilot? For many of us, even as adults, lack of confidence is an issue. These important tips are a great start and show us that confidence is the bedrock of our personality.
When you take that swing at a ball, if you have sewn doubt in your mind, “I won’t hit that ball” the old saying comes out – you reap what you sew. You very well may miss that ball and take a blow to your confidence at the same time.
Stand strong, and make a list of all the things you know you’re good at. This will help improve your personal outlook.
2) Get moving!
Taking part in physical activity is good for your mental health. Your body is more than just a bunch of limbs filled with water. Sure you’re 70-plus percent water, but you’re more than that! You’re a vastly connected well oiled machine, bristling with ideas and ability. Getting just twenty minutes a day of exercise can improve your short term memory by up to 15 percent!
But physical activity isn’t just running and jumping, there’s also the opposite effect. Sitting can be almost as bad for you as smoking! So try to stand more; for example, when you’re stumped on a math problem, get up and walk around and get your whole body engaged in that stubborn algebra problem.
3) Get quality sleep
Laying in bed with your eyes closed hiding from Saturday chores doesn’t qualify as sleep for parents or kids. But quality sleep is necessary. What do we mean by quality sleep? It’s not just the 8 hours, but it’s 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. That means you’re giving your body time to recover from all that activity, but also giving your brain time to ‘defrag’ a bit like a computer.
An hour before your regular bedtime, try to begin to establish a routine that will tell your brain it’s time to wind down. If you plan to get up at 7, you’ll want to be asleep by 11, not just in bed. So by 10, tell your brain it’s time to sleep by brushing your teeth. At 10:30, give your eyes a rest and put down the electronics. At 10:45, begin that all important bedtime routine of pajamas and a hot shower to relax yourself.
4) ARGHHHHH STRESS!
Yes, the stress monster. Some people claim they do their best work when they’re stressed or under pressure. But your body and mind react to the way they’re trained. Muscle memory is no joke, so if you only do things at the last minute, that’s when you’ll fire on all cylinders.
But that takes a toll on your body and mind, too. Going from zero to sixty is stressful enough, but to then have to repeat it over, and over again?
Plan out your projects, this way you only need to do five or ten minutes of work on it each day.
Set aside dedicated time for homework, play, dinner. Committing yourself to a routine seems boring until you realize just how much more organized and easy life is this way. Not only will you benefit from it, but your friends, grades, and classmates will all benefit at your organization ability.
Not to mention the ability to manage stress is a key component in EVERYONE’S life, so if you can master it now, your grades will benefit almost as much as the future you will benefit.
5) Review your diet
That D you got on your report card has more to do with the D in Diet than you might think. You’ve heard it all your life ‘this is brainfood’ ‘this is a superfood’ ‘Einstein ate these every day.’ But the truth is much simpler and more clear.
“Heavy, saturated fatty foods slow down the body, of which the brain is part of.” Says Dr. K. Martin Rathwind. The old saying ‘garbage in, garbage out’ was yelled our by many a physical education teacher. The meaning is simple, you get out of it what you put into it. So if you are expecting a high-performance grade boosting machine, fried foods and syrupy drinks probably aren’t going to be on the menu.
6) Get your own space!
If you usually do your homework by your Xbox or your PC where you game, your brain isn’t totally focused on the task at hand.
You don’t change a race car’s oil in the same place that you prepare lunch, so how can you expect to work in the same place you play? Get a cozy space that’s all yours. It could be as simple as putting a different comforter on the bed and sitting down with your back against the bedroom wall as you do your work.
You need space to think, space to dream, space to breathe. Once in a while, maybe take work outside – a change can sometimes force the brain to think differently.
7) Think outside the box
Associating history and math don’t usually come naturally. But there’s math to be found in history, and history to be found in math. Find some of the commonalities in your coursework and in your day-to-day life. Even flash cards of historical dates where you have to state what happened on that date, and subtract or add the next date from the previous are a good way of combining ideas and thinking outside the box.
8) Get a good group
Birds of a feather flock together. If you want to get out and exercise while you think over whether Madison was a good president, then maybe you can find others who are willing to do the same. If you want to learn ratios, maybe linking up with someone who is a good cook will help you get a good company AND think outside the box. How many parts milk, how many parts ice cream, and how many parts chocolate syrup make the perfect shake?
The last word
Never forget that the internet is an amazing resource. If you think you are in a rut, you probably are! If you feel like you need to talk to someone, you probably do! Getting organized, getting a good nights sleep, finding a good group and confidence will go a long way toward better grades. But they’ll go an even longer way toward making you a better person.