Reading list to de-stress

It’s that time of the year again when the Q-cards make a long awaited appearance, the unnecessarily extensive stationary sets are brought out and the revision calendars (that one rarely keeps to) are out in full force. Yes, of course, it’s exam season; a season of stress, anxiety and existential crises. HOWEVER, below is a short reading list that could be the perfect antidote to the worries that examinations can cause.

The Emergency poet – An Anti-Stress Poetry Anthology by Deborah Alma:

Recommended to me by a fellow Ellipsis member, this poetry anthology has advice for any situation and is guaranteed to lift your mood if you’re feeling disheartened or down with revision. The ’emergency poet’, Deborah Alma, is the world’s first and only emergency poet. Through one to one consultations in libraries, schools and even town centres, Alma uses poetry as a therapeutic medium to solve and relieve the anxieties that her ‘patients’ are suffering from. This is definitely an essential read after a long day of revision to give yourself a mental boost.

I Want to be Calm: How to De-Stress by Harriet Griffey

How apt the title of this self-help book is during a period of EXTREME stress. The novel by Harriet Griffey discusses the stresses and strains of modern life and how the pressures of expectations can at times seem unbearable. However, the novel is extremely reassuring, offering practical advice to combat the stress, anxiety and overwhelming emotions that can affect all of us when we least expect it to. With reading being scientifically proven to help revitalise the mind, this is a must-read.

A Book That Takes Its Time: A Creative Adventure in Mindfulness by Astrid van der Hulst and Irene Smit

The monotonous nature of revision can often leave you feeling extremely unfulfilled and lacking any kind of creativity however, this journal-styled book gives the reader the opportunity to be crafty, create collages and illustrations of their own. Alongside this creative side of the novel, there are also motivating quotes, journal pages and short essays to read that offer a type of mental retreat during revision breaks. This book is just what you need after a whole day of writing copious amounts of notes, eating your body mass in chocolate and stressing about ever nearing deadlines.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

Written by psychotherapist and motivational speaker Richard Carlson, this book offers advice designed to help put life into perspective and to allow the reader to understand that excess worry and stress will not help in the accomplishment of goals but rather inhibits them. This book is extremely refreshing with it forcing the reader to step back from their own worries, reminding them that no matter how important exams may seem to be in a particular moment, there are much more significant things in life than examinations.

Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled and Overwhelmed by Rita Emmett

‘Overworked, overscheduled and overwhelmed’, the three adjectives with which third years can fiercely resonant with during this period of the semester. Not only is this a book to help you to de-stress, it also seeks to enhance the readers time management and productivity skills. The author, Rita Emmett, discusses helpful ways in which to retain a positive mindset when revising and key time management techniques to get the most out of your revision. This novel is a must-read for those who are sometimes prone to procrastination (me), giving themselves 15 minute study breaks that soon extend to a hiatus.


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