How a Strong and Healthy Mindset Affects Exam Revision
Mental health is crucial at every stage of our lives - from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Hence, mental well-being does not simply begin when one becomes a working adult. It is vital for our children, from a young age, to be constantly exposed to activities that will enable them to take on a healthy and positive outlook on life.
Here are some tips for parents to help their child develop a healthy and resilient mind.
1. Exercise Regularly
30-60 minutes of daily exercise helps to release endorphins, a key hormone produced by the brain which triggers positive feelings. Endorphins are scientifically proven to aid in the prevention of depression. They also help stimulate one’s mind to take on an overall positive outlook on life. It is no secret that active and fit children generally tend to score better in exams than children who do not exercise regularly.
Encourage your children to love sports and outdoors more than their screens (mobile devices) and you will find a healthier, happy child.
2. Factor in time for rest and relaxation
Humans are not machines. We all need a break sometimes, even as adults. Children are no different. Remember to consistently schedule a 15-minute break at the end of 45 minutes (as a rough guide) of revision for a mental “time-out”. On weekends, encourage your child to participate in a hobby that he or she enjoys (preferably one that doesn’t involve computer games or screens). Ideally, it would be an activity that parents can participate too.
3. Train your child to manage his/her time well
Empower your child to appreciate the value and importance of time.This is an invaluable life skill that will hold him/her in good stead for years to come. The most successful and happy people in the world are extremely disciplined when it comes to planning their time.
Teach your child the importance of planning a revision schedule and sticking to it. Over time, your child will learn the importance of breaking a large problem/task (i.e. PSLE exams) at hand into smaller manageable parts (daily revision). As a result, your child is more likely to be less stressed in their examination preparations.
4. Encourage your child to speak up if she/he is encountering a difficulty
Parents should encourage their children to speak up if they face any difficulty at school, be it bullying or academic difficulties. Remind them that it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. If anything, keeping one’s problems hidden only creates additional and unnecessary strain on the mind.
It is better to seek help early to allow for prompt intervention by qualified professionals. Parents should constantly remind their children that they are not alone and that they are there for them if they need help.
5. Sleep well
The benefits of adequate sleep are many. Children who sleep well perform better at school because they tend to focus and concentrate better on the task at hand. In addition, they tend to adopt a more positive outlook on life as well. For a more detailed look at the benefits of sleep, please see my previous article here.
Strong mental health is something all individuals can attain with the right advice and training.
Share the above tips with your children. We are confident that they will help them with life’s challenges as they grow older.
About the Author
Dr Mark Liew is a Certified Family Physician practising in Singapore. He juggles between being a businessman, a doctor and a family man with 2 active young boys. In his very modest spare time, he plays chess and hopes to become a decent player one day.