Hints and tips on how to boost your mood whilst writing your coursework. By Jack Iles

It is that time of year again. Irrespective of being a third, second or first year, the unrelenting demon that is coursework is dominating our lives. Every student at some point in their life has valiantly fought past one hundred words only to realise they cannot continue. Our motivation crumbles and the cold terror of failure incapacitates us; progression ceases. So how do we solve this, how do we boost our mood whilst writing our coursework? This article identifies four easily accomplishable methods, tried and tested by students across the globe.

Firstly, planning is crucial. Identify the distance between now and your deadline. Then break down the tasks you need to accomplish into small, manageable sections. Doing a little bit every day will not only improve your mood whilst studying, but will have a positive effect on the end result. Having two days to research, write and check an assignment will result in high levels of stress. Giving your assignment two to three weeks, contributing to it on a smaller scale every day will vastly improve your motivation.

Secondly, snacks. You do not need me to tell you that writing coursework is very hunger-inducing. For example, Roald Dahl consumed chocolate whilst writing to such an extent that he created a solid ball of foil from the wrappers. Thankfully there are certain foods we can snack on whilst studying to improve our mood. Internet forums preach the benefits of berries, bananas, and everything deliciously sweet and refreshing. Whatever your favourite fruit is invest and keep it close. It is not limited to fruit either, find a snack that works for you and your mood will noticeably improve. Enjoying the smells, flavours and textures establishes positivity.

Thirdly, exercise. If you find yourself struggling mid-way through an essay then go for a short walk outside. Removing yourself from the frustrating situation will create distance from the stress. Whilst you are exercising your body releases endorphins that naturally improve your temperament. Also your mind will be unconsciously resolving your coursework issues. When you return you will find yourself reinvigorated and armed with new approaches to your challenge.

Fourthly, rewards. Depending on the individual these can be large or small scale. On the large spectrum students have benefited from envisaging the final reward that completing their coursework will achieve. When you next lose motivation, picture yourself on the stage of Bristol Cathedral on a beautiful summer’s day. All attention in the building upon you for one glorious moment as you finally get recognition for the struggle of the last three years. Small scale rewards range from having a break after a certain milestone, or setting aside time in the evening for your favourite pastime. Having these rewards will embalm you in a sense of well being.

Some of these factors will not work for everyone, but experiment with what improves your mood when writing coursework. Remember that it is okay to have bad days, but do not let them characterise your week.