If you are living with students or are one yourself this information can help you to get through study and exam times without too much stress. Don’t forget to help the rest of the family with remedies if they are being affected by the general mood.
Stress and pressure at exam time can be minimised by preparing a program well in advance to care for the mind, body and spirit. A good quality multi vitamin, extra Vitamin C and Bach Flowers offer valuable support. Basil, Rosemary and Lemon oils in a burner aid concentration and Lavender, Geranium and Bergamot can help unravel frazzled, overworked nerves.
Stock up on supplies of the following remedies to ensure a smooth preparation for exams.
Aconite for acute anxiety, agitation and restlessness before an event like exams or giving a presentation. Argent nit is also good for “nerves” due to worry about coming events, especially appearing before an audience. Anxious, nervous, excitable, talkative, impulsive and craving sweets. Also consider Gelsemium if you tend to shut down and withdraw or Lycopodium if you feel overwhelmed and lack confidence in your own ability.
Arsenicum alb suffers restless anxiety, apprehension and a sense of dread. It suits high achievers who may become overly fussy and fastidious. Their sleep becomes affected and they tend to wake between 12 and 2am with tummy upset and anxiety.
Calc phos suits kids who are bored and whine and complain constantly. They can’t settle and roam from one thing to another. Headaches with fatigue, stomach ache and leg cramps during periods of rapid growth. Craves salty food like fries and bacon.
Gelsemium is a great remedy for anticipatory anxiety; when people anticipate even simple things with fear and dread. They become weary, apathetic, withdrawn and can’t think. May suffer from headaches with drowsiness, heavy, droopy eyes, frequent, painless diarrhoea, and restless, fitful sleep.
Kali Phos acts as a nerve nutrient for mental and physical despair from excitement, overwork or worry. Headache, weakness and exhaustion in students worn out by fatigue. Humming & buzzing in the ears. Weak sight. This is an excellent nerve tonic to use regularly during times of stress such as exams and performance. Include other remedies as indicated.
Lycopodium lacks courage and confidence. There is great anxiety around coming exams with fear of failing, generally irritable and often sarcastic and bossy at home. Headaches from low blood sugar as a result of not eating, digestive uneasiness including ‘butterflies’ in stomach, diarrhoea or very loose stools, lots of wind.
Nat mur tends to be tired, despairing and pessimistic. Hammering headaches preceded by misty vision or zig zag lights especially in people who are inclined to brood and ‘stew’ over things.
Nux Vomica feels generally jittery, anxious and they are inclined to be hostile and pick quarrels. Oversensitive to noise, light and smells. Poor sleep from indigestion after rich food, too much coffee or overwork, wide awake between 3 – 5 am and then wakes cranky and irritable. There may be an accompanying cough.
Ruta grav can be helpful for eyestrain from long hours of reading and computer work. There can be a feeling of tension and weariness around the eyes.
Silica for difficulty concentrating and poor memory in teens who lack physical and mental stamina, they fear failure and being overwhelmed by too much work. Diligent and detail oriented.
Sulphur talks, grunts or snores with fitful sleep, sticks hot feet out of bed. Inclined to be lazy, absentminded and to procrastinate, study with music on, drinks lined up and mess all around them.
Insomnia and Sleep Disturbances: Arsenicum alb, Bryonia, Coffea, Ignatia, Nux vomica, Sulphur
Fear and Anticipatory Anxiety: Aconite, Argent nit, Arsenicum alb, Gelsemium, Lycopodium
Mental exhaustion: Calc phos, Cocculus, Gelsemium, Kali phos, Nux vomica, Silica
Headaches: Calc phos, Euphrasia, Kali phos, Nat mur, Nux vomica
Emotional ups & downs: Ignatia, Pulsatilla.
DIET AND NUTRITIONAL NEEDS
A healthy diet and exercise helps reduce stress during times of increased mental effort. For optimum performance it’s important to avoid foods that contribute to unstable blood sugar levels such as excesses of alcohol, coffee, strong tea, chocolate and sugary products. Digesting these foods depletes our vitamin and mineral supplies leaving us feeling increasingly lethargic, headachy and irritable.
Eat regularly to avoid hypoglycaemia; try to snack on nuts, seeds and dried fruit as a healthy alternative to a sugar ‘fix’. Drink plenty of water and choose revitalising or soothing herbal teas. Supplement your levels of B group vitamins, Vitamin C, folate, calcium, potassium and magnesium when under stress, combined with a well balanced diet.