The rising costs of college and worries about employment after graduation are two major reasons why almost 60% of students surveyed have reported feeling ‘overwhelming anxiety’. Of course, stress isn’t only a bugbear for university level students. High school students, too, are feeling the pressure, since many fear that their future depends on whether or not they make it into one college in particular. While stress itself cannot be avoided, students’ reactions to it can. If you have a loved one heading back to school and you feel like they may need a little boost, surprise them with these hot gifts.
Fuel for Life
One thing many students neglect during the school year is their diet. Thus, they tend to consume fast/refined foods in an effort to reduce the time spent on preparing meals. Fast food diets are high in sugar. When consumed regularly, they can contribute to insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, and fatigue. Sugar gives us an energy spike, which a few hours down the track results in a slump - hardly the best condition to be in during classes or, more importantly, exam time. Do something grand for your student and give them a healthy snack basket containing delicious snacks that will provide them with long-term fuel. Foods to opt for include nuts, dark chocolate, and cheese!
A Great Night’s Sleep
A 2014 study published in the journal Nature of Science and Sleep found that “chronic sleep deprivation may impair academic performance, mood regulation, and driving safety. Students who attain sufficient sleep may still struggle with sleepiness due to sleep disorders.” One problem, noted researchers, is that class times are often set without consideration for young adults’ circadian rhythms. Another issue is the use of technology prior to bedtime, and the consumption of coffee and other stimulants in the afternoon or evening. To boost mental stamina, sound sleep is key. A great gift to give a friend or family member is a comfortable pillow or, if you have a budget for it, a good mattress with the right firmness for their sleeping position. There are many gifts, small and large, that can boost sleep. Think everything from a quality sleeping mask to cozy pajamas; relaxing essential oils like lavender, orange, or vetiver; or even soothing music.
The Gift of Calm
Who said all gifts had to have a price? Why not give your friend or loved one an app – preferably, a free app that happens to have won Apple’s App of the Year distinction? It’s called Calm and it was first released in 2012, boasting over 14 million downloads in its short history. Calm soothes the mind with beautiful visuals and lovely sounds ranging from a crackling fireplace to the flow of water. You have three tabs to choose from: Music, Meditate, or Sleep. The Meditate program is particularly interesting for those battling stress, because it is divided into different programs, including Breathe (comprising controlled breathing exercises that stop anxiety in its tracks), 7 Days of Sleep, and 7 Days of Calm.
We have mentioned three ideas to let your loved one know you are rooting for them. Think about what would make them happiest and do your best to give it to them. In addition to giving them something physical, give them your time. Have a cup of coffee together, take them out for a quick workout, give them a call to see how they are doing, and remind them that they are so much more than the sum of their successes.