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Advice

Destress During Exams

Our Top 5 Tips to Destress During Exam Time

By Advice

Tags – Destress During Exams

 

Most of us experience stress at some point in our lives.

Sometimes pressure can act as a motivator.

However, if you’re feeling anxious and concerned about your pending exams, read on because we’re revealing our five top tips on how to handle exam stress.  

 

Remember to Breathe

When your alarm clock wakes you up for your morning’s revision or for your exams, spend a couple of minutes breathing.

Breathing exercises work wonders for putting yourself in a calm frame of mind to approach the day ahead.

There are dozens of mindfulness apps you can download or YouTube videos you can watch to help you get started. 

 

Eat, Exercise, Drink and Sleep Well

Living through your exams while eating food full of fat and sugar will make you feel tired and bloated.

You’re also not getting the right kind of energy that your body needs to feel full and fueled for the day. 

Instead, stock up on healthy foods before your revision and exam period begins. That way, you won’t be as tempted to fall into bad eating habits

Build-in time to exercise regularly, either alone or with friends. It doesn’t matter if it’s the gym, the pool or just a walk in your local park, the important thing is that you leave your revision behind to rest your mind and recharge your batteries. 

Swop caffeine and beers for plenty of water and aim to get at least eight hours of sleep a night, every night during this period. 

 

Think Like a Runner

Just like marathon runners, you have to pace yourself during exam time.

If you’re experiencing panic, remember not only your breathing exercises but also give yourself time to pause. Drink some water and try to examine the stressor from a different angle. 

If, for example, you’re struggling to remember a particular piece of revision, try breaking it down into bite-size pieces.

Perhaps you could attempt to condense your notes? Or write flashcards to help you remember what you’re studying? 

 

Have Some Fun

It’s common for hard-working students to think they have to deny themselves fun when revising for exams.

However, building in some time to see friends, to chat, and have a laugh goes a long way to helping you unwind.

Alternatively, watch a funny film, bake a cake, or listen to a funny podcast – anything that releases some feel-good endorphins so you can relax. 

 

Ask for Help

If you’re struggling during revision and exam time, there’s no need to go through it alone.

Try to talk to trusted friends if you’re going through a hard time and ensure you reach out to your social support network during this time.

It’s a simple technique to ensure that you don’t feel isolated and alone during this stressful period. 

Asking for help isn’t something to be embarrassed about.

A NatWest Student Living Index survey in 2019 found that 45% of students feel stressed by their university course. 

If you fall into that category, contact your university support services or your GP to ask for professional help and support.

 

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

 

In the meantime, check our Student Lettings Leicester services here.

Carpe Diem – Pressure and Achievement

By Advice, Culture

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem is a Latin sentiment, probably an over-used one, which means ‘seize the day’.

You can find the phrase printed on t-shirts, headlining pop-songs, repeated in every motivational speech, so much so, that it seems to have lost its meaning. First written over 2,000 year ago in a Roman’s Poem, Horace, its true intention has been lost in translation.

‘The Spirit of this Centuries-Old Philosophy has been Hijacked’

 

Definition.

The idea of ‘seize’ creates an aggressive tone, compelling us to immediate action, to take something through hard work. This really reflects the aesthetic of the modern-day corporate world, a gratification-obsessed, work-until-you-drop culture. Surely to seize every opportunity and make every day great, sets an impossible standard.

If you dig deeper, in the context of the poem it was first written in, its translation from Latin to English is more suited to ‘plucking the day’. This slight difference can completely change our view on the world. To pluck resonates more with nature, to enjoy a present but fleeting moment. Not to instantly get things done and set the bar of achievement so high, but to take joy in the smallest aspect of your day and carry that with you. You don’t have to make the day great, just resonate with the great moments that it gives.

 

How We Interpret the Metaphor Today.

You probably hear this translation ‘seizing the day’, and immediately think how you have not done enough today.

If we can take away one lesson from the Pandemic, it is that external factors are out of our control, we cannot always fulfill the complete potential of every day.

As a society, we exert too much pressure on ourselves, on our students, our workers, that only 100% is your best, only perfection is seizing the day. Whereas it is important to remember the circumstances we are in – that one day, only 70% might be your best, 50% another day and 90% the next, and that is O.K.

 

Pressure and Achievement.

Sometimes changing your mindset can be done by simply telling the story in a different way. So today, change it and take that pressure off – you don’t have to seize, just pluck. Suddenly it is less aggressive, and the action needed is smaller.

Achievements come in all sizes – celebrate them all.

 

 

Revision Tips

Our Top 5 Revision Tips for Students

By Advice

Tags – Revision Tips

Preparing yourself for exams can feel daunting.

So, it’s easy to form lousy revision habits

Whether your exams are around the corner, or not for another year, it’s never too early to start thinking about how and when you’ll begin to revise. 

That said, here are our top five revision tips to help ensure you’re fully prepared when the time comes:

 

Start Early

Avoid stress and last-minute all-nighters by starting your revision early.

Experience will tell you that you can’t rush your revision.

Set your alarm and begin your revision in the mornings.

That way, you’re less likely to succumb to displacement activities such as scrolling through your Instagram and sleeping. 

 

Be Prepared

Draw up a revision timetable.

It’s no use starting early but taking a scattergun approach to your revision.

You could put your schedule on a cloud storage platform like Google Docs so that it’s accessible from any device or location. 

Try to break your timetable down into manageable chunks, subject by subject, so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. 

 

Be Realistic

This is as much about your attitude as it is about your approach to revision.

Set yourself achievable targets for each revision session. For example, instead of telling yourself, you’re going to “revise everything about 19th-century philosophers” in one session, try to boil down 10-15 key bullet points instead.

By setting yourself realistic goals, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed and burn out. 

 

Write It Down

A simple but effective way to remember your revision is to make notes to help summarise your learning.

It’s worth trying the following techniques:

  • Use flashcards that act as memory tools. You could colour code them by subject matter. 
  • Draw mind maps to visually organise the information you’re trying to digest. 
  • Create mnemonics – these are a pattern of ideas or letters to aid memory. For example, here’s a well-known mnemonic for remembering the order in which the planets are closest to the sun: My very excited mother just served us noodles = Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.

Give these a go to see which works for you best. 

 

Exercise, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Remember to dedicate time for recharging your mind and body.

Exercise will boost your serotonin and oxygen levels and help you sleep better.

Whether you prefer working out at the gym with a friend or going for a walk, it’s essential to leave your place of revision to exercise your body and rest your mind. 

Add to that a healthy and balanced diet, and you’re less likely to feel bloated and anxious from eating junk food and drinking too much caffeine. Try substituting water for caffeine instead. 

After a day revising (and taking regular breaks), go to bed at a reasonable time, so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on another day’s work. 

There’s no perfect recipe for revising, but preparation and the right mindset goes a long way to feeling fully prepared.

 

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

 

In the meantime, check our Student Lettings Leicester services here.

“What have you got planned for Valentine’s Day?” The question most people dread.

By Advice

This year however, we are all in the same boat and I guess one positive of being in the midst of a national lockdown, is that we are all safely off the hook of having to plan something extravagant for our other halves, friends, or that special someone we’ve got our eye on.

That being said, even though we are stuck at home this year, we can still have fun. Here are some ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day in lockdown.

  1. Marks and Spencer’s Dine In for two.

M&S is a firm favourite for many couples wanting to spend their Valentine’s Day in the comfort of their own home, even under normal circumstances. They really do ‘up the ante’ for Valentine’s and with so much choice on the menu, there will be something to suit even the fussiest of eaters.

https://www.marksandspencer.com/c/food-to-order/valentines-dine-in

  1. Grab a takeaway from your favourite local restaurant.

If M&S isn’t for you, more businesses than ever have turned to takeaway options to keep themselves afloat. Check in with your local favourites to see if they are doing takeaways. Here are a few of my go to restaurants to give you some ideas:

Halcyon Kitchen – http://halcyonkitchen.com/

Winstanley House – https://www.winstanleyhouse.co.uk/restaurant/

Wigston Fields New and Deli – https://notjustacornershop.com/preorder/

  1. Go on a romantic walk.

Pack a bag full of chocolates and fizz and take a stroll with your loved one.

  1. Flowers are always a good idea.

What says I love you more than a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers. I have linked some local florists below that I can guarantee will have something for you, no matter how big or small you want to go:

The Bloom Project – https://www.thebloomproject.co.uk/

The Flower Corner – https://www.theflowercornerleicester.co.uk/

  1. Create an at-home spa experience.

Treat you and whoever you are spending Valentine’s Day with to an at-home spa experience. Get the candles on, tell Alexa to play something relaxing and enjoy massages, a hot bath, face masks or whatever floats your boat.

  1. Get dressed up – use your imagination.

If the spa scene is not for you, why not get your glad rags on. Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean you can’t put on your favourite outfit and dance around to some music. Turn your kitchen in to that romantic restaurant or grungy nightclub that you have been missing and let your hair down!

  1. Treat yourself to a home cocktail making kit and get creative in the kitchen.

Whatever your drink of choice, I am sure there will be a kit out there for you. I’ve added a link below to a Pornstar Martini kit from the local Leicester bar Fat Cat because, you can’t go wrong with a classic Pornstar Martini, right?

https://thedrinkgarden.com/collections/fat-cat-pornstar-martini

  1. Or get ready made cocktails delivered.

If you don’t fancy making cocktails yourself, why not support a local business and get them delivered in ready to pour pouches. All you have to do is get your glass ready and you are good to go. I have linked my personal favourite ‘33 Cank Street’ below, enjoy!

https://www.bar33cankstreet.com/

  1. Netflix and chill.

No explanation needed. We all know what this entails.

However, and whoever you are celebrating, we hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s day.

Dinner bowl

Veganuary

By Advice, Culture

Veganuary has seen its biggest year yet with more than 500,000 people being encouraged to try a plant-based lifestyle for the month!

Whether participating for health reasons, ethical reasons, or in response to climate change, Veganuary is a great way for us change our day-to-day lifestyle, product use and create some delicious meals that challenge us to think outside the box.

This year in particular supermarkets have embraced and advocated this event and encouraged us to try new things. With dedicated marketing, imaginative plant-based alternatives and recipes, I’ve been pushed to challenge my creativity in meal preparation for the month.

It’s never been easier now to enjoy Veganuary, here are some tips to help you too:

  1. Don’t worry if you slip up:

    Even if by misreading a label or being unsure when ordering food, it gets easier discovering and understanding every part of living a plant-based lifestyle.
    If you are concerned about larger areas like clothing and products that use leather and wool for example, start small and make small changes – don’t throw your possessions away and leave yourself with nothing!

  2. Meals are still delicious:

    There are loads of great recipes I’ve loved making over the past month that have been vibrant and delicious. With supermarkets and restaurants offering some great meat alternative meals, you can wow your family, friends, and flatmates by cooking them a dinner that is also well balanced and provides all of your necessary nutritional needs.

  3. Remember to ask for help:

    Switching to a plant-based lifestyle can be a huge jump away from your usual routine. Taking time to ask others you know who are participating, as well as people on social media, and tutorials/videos online will show how easy it is to try Veganuary.

Let us know your favourite meals you’ve made for Veganuary, as well as any changes you’re going to take away into everyday life. I myself love using soya milk instead of dairy at home, but I’m still trying to find a cheese alternative that really hits the spot.

Dry January

By Advice, COVID

This January has been different – while the classic January Blues lurk around as always, we are also in a lock down, the typical challenge of a Dry January suddenly feels completely absurd.

So, by this point in the month, you have either found control in a successful alcohol-free month (well done you)! Or the opposite, maybe clinging to a bottle as everything else seems to crumble, perhaps the thought was there, but the motivation lost along the way…

Either way, it seems like the odds were against us all, choosing such a blue month like January. Who says we can’t give it another go? Let’s break the cycle and redefine what is needed to actually start a habit.

 

MOTIVATION AND RESULTS

No, a habit does not have to commence at the start of a week, a day, or even a year to stick, it’s a myth, and the perfect excuse for all the procrastinators reading this…

Many of us have found ourselves drinking more in lockdown because it’s instant satisfaction – how are we meant to replace such an easy source of satisfaction amongst all the stress, and start prioritising long term benefits?

Most people think that motivation needs to come first, before action, but that is hardly ever the case. We need to take the action, like cutting down on alcohol, to see the results of increased energy and better moods.  We can then be motivated by results! Action + Results = Motivation.
But remember, if January was too miserable to be motivated, that’s OK!

Try dropping a bad habit this month instead, see the results and keep going all year.

 

REPLACING THE BAD HABIT, ITS NOT WINE O’CLOCK ANYMORE…

You might routinely long for that glass of wine on a Friday night after the working week closes, or a gin and tonic on Zoom catch ups with friends. There are often certain times, locations or activities associated with drinking. We don’t have to stop these fun scenarios, instead, find alternative ways that achieve the same goal.

Do you normally drink alcohol to relax? To have fun? As an icebreaker to socialise? Look into other methods where you can get the same result and replace drinking with this. Have a long bubble bath. Take up an exciting new hobby. Replace social drinking with eating or activities, perhaps a themed cuisine event or a fun board game night.

 

SET BACKS

Realise that forming a new habit is not constant progress, broke the habit for one day? One week? Be gentle on yourself, recognise the break and then move on. An effective method is the 3-3 rule. You might ‘accidentally’ have 3 days off, which isn’t the best but also isn’t the end of the world, and you can counteract this by having 3 consecutive days on!

Take this even further, and ask why you slipped up, what have you learnt? What circumstances happened at the time, is there a trigger or feeling you can keep an eye out for? The change for Dry January might not come as easily as hoped, and you might only get bursts of motivation, that’s OK – maximise them!

All in all, just because you didn’t do Dry January, doesn’t mean you can’t start the positive change in another month…

Needs of Student Tenants

How Do the Needs of Student Tenants Differ From Working Tenants?

By Advice

Tags – Needs of Student Tenants

 

So, as with any business endeavour, when renting out a property, it’s crucial to know your audience.

As such, if you want your property to stand out from the crowd, you need to aim it specifically at your target audience.

Therefore, it’s important to differentiate between the needs of student tenants and those of working professionals.

 

Multiple Agreements 

Although there are a lot of parallels, a main area of difference will be the need for different tenancy agreements.

For instance, in the case of students, individual tenancy agreements will be required in a house of multiple occupancy.

Whereas professional, working tenants are more likely to rent a property as one entity, students will rent independently.

This can be advantageous for a landlord in that if one student tenant drops out, it won’t impact the rest.

Equally, the remaining students may well be instrumental in finding a replacement.

However, on the downside, several agreements for the same time period can create more paperwork and chasing up.

 

Fixed Term Agreements

Although students are unlikely to stay in a property for years, they will sign up for a fixed term.

Additionally, they’re more likely to pay in three parts across the year, using their student loans, paid to them each term, to do so.

However, working professionals will need to take a more temporary view on their tenancy.

As such, they will want to pay monthly.

And they may well move on after only six months because of potential job and location changes.

 

Work Space

A critical requirement of student tenants will always be the need for an individual workspace.

Consequently, it’s more important for each individual room to accommodate a desk and chair than much storage.

Therefore, when aiming a property at students, make sure each room is self-contained with at least a bed, workstation and small amount of storage space. 

 

Communal Area

Professionals are likely to rent a property as a couple or maybe a group of two or three friends.

Therefore, they’re likely to present as a single tenancy, having taken into account the affordability, jointly.

Whilst students sharing a property may well not know each other, professional tenants are likely to know each other well.

Consequently, they’ll be happier to share a smaller communal space.

Equally, those working will spend less time in the property and have less need for a large kitchen, bathroom or living area.

However, by comparison, a larger, more sociable living area will be of paramount importance to students.

 

Location

A key area of difference between students’ and working professional tenants’ needs will be the location of the property.

Whilst working tenants are likely to have their own transport, students will require good public transport links nearby.

With more traditional 9 to 5 working hours, professionals will potentially want a quieter location than their counterparts. Similarly, they may also require off road parking facilities too.

By comparison, students will want to be closer to the city centre and will be less affected by any associated noise.

Therefore, a central location is more likely to be at the top of a student’s wish list.

 

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

In the meantime, check our Student Lettings Leicester service.

Make Student Properties Look Stunning

5 Simple Tips To Make Student Properties Look Stunning

By Advice

Tags –  Make Student Properties Look Stunning

 

Although students sometimes have a hard time about being lazy and not very busy, they are still a discerning bunch.

Therefore, a property which takes into account their needs and outlook will be let go quickly.

Equally, higher rents can be applied to those properties which tick all the boxes and look stunning.

Here are our 5 tips to give your property the student wow factor.

 

1. Sociable Space

In shared accommodation, a property with warm, welcoming and open spaces will without doubt, attract students.

Consequently, if you choose larger, comfortable sofas and stylish lighting for any shared areas, you’ll be on to a winner.

With quite a bit of down time on their hands, most students will love to see comfortable yet modern and stylish furnishings in their communal relaxation space.

 

2. Decoration

To create the right vibe for accommodation that is relaxed yet spacious and suitable for working in, you need clean lines and calming neutral colours.

As such, anything that engenders a feeling of space will appeal greatly to students.

Moreover, young people will also want to put their own temporary stamp on their rooms so a neutral yet warming base is a great way to go.

 

3. Technology

Students will respond very well to anything technological.

As such, adding finishing touches such as built-in charging points on electrical sockets will strongly appeal to students.

Whilst you won’t want to put in state-of-the-art expensive technology for fear of damage and breakages, adding a little technology will give your property an edge. For instance, incorporating an AI virtual assistant such as Alexa will attract students for sure.

Similarly, including a TV licence or high-speed Wifi system will ensure your property is top of the list.

 

4. Convenience

Anything you can include in your property to make life easier and more convenient will certainly attract student tenants.

For example, appliances such as a microwave, large fridge, tumble dryer and dishwasher will make your property a very attractive proposition.

Equally, even an ice dispenser built into the fridge will make your property stunning in the eyes of a student!

 

5. Easy to Clean

Whilst students will be attracted to stylish furnishings, ensuring that the bathroom and kitchen areas are simply designed will be most desirable.

As such, simple, basic designs in these areas will mean it’s easier to keep clean.

Furthermore, using pale colours as the basis for fixtures and fittings with simple wooden flooring will give the attractive light and airy feel that young adults love.

 

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

In the meantime, check our Student Lettings Leicester service.

Upside of Living in a City

The Upside Of Living In A City: 5 Convincing Points

By Advice, Culture

Tags – Upside of Living in a City

 

Whether you prefer a peaceful life in the country or the more cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of a city, there are evident pros and cons for both.

However, one thing’s for sure, any stalwart city dweller will assure you city life is the best!

Here are our top 5 reasons why living in a vibrant city is the best:

 

1. Getting Around 

Although city life can be hectic and busy, there’s a fantastic choice in how to get around.

Whether you work inside or outside the city limits, you have a range of choices unavailable elsewhere. For example, most of those living in cities dispense with having a car altogether.

Train, tram and underground services are less expensive, less hassle and more convenient.

Equally, many will walk or even cycle around a city with specific facilities made available, to do so.

 

2. Jobs

It’s fairly evident that cities will have more employment opportunities.

Not only is there a greater number of jobs available, it’s also more convenient to live closer.

Equally, more vacancies bring more opportunities for promotion and professional development.

Furthermore, with the convenience of a shorter commute leading to more spare time and the likelihood of better paid employment, it’s a win-win situation!

 

3. Entertainment and Spare Time

Another hugely beneficial factor in living in a city is the most amazing scope for entertainment and recreation.

For example, cities are heaving with cultural projects and exhibitions.

Similarly, theatres, museums, green space, music venues are all in close proximity.

Alternatively, the opportunity to experience some serious retail therapy is also readily available.

 

4. Communications

Anyone who’s lived in a rural area will tell you how frustrating it is to have little or no phone reception.

For example, it’s a major factor when choosing somewhere to live if you need a good connection.

City living means much better communication and more responsive repair services should they be needed.

Equally, speedy broadband and cable television, which are taken for granted in cities are not always readily available, even in this day and age!

 

5. Emergency Services and Health Care

Whilst no one can deny the NHS is amazing everywhere, living closer to a hospital could save your life.

Although everyone in the UK has access to the same great health care, cost cutting exercises can take their toll.

Hospital and ambulance services cover huge areas more rurally and time can be an issue.

Equally, a quicker response to any calls for the police or fire service is certainly a consideration.

 

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

 

In the meantime, check our Student Lettings Leicester services here.

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