It’s so easy to fall into bad habits come exam time – you are probably stressed, not sleeping enough and I’m guessing you probably aren’t maintaining a balanced diet.
Between work, school and life admin it can feel overwhelming to say the least, but you’ve got to slow it down, get organised and find time to not only eat and sleep, but include some down time to relax with friends and do the things that make you feel good.
All work and no play isn’t healthy for anyone, so here are our 5 tips to help you maintain your social life and wellbeing during the busy exam period.
1. Prioritise your work load
Schedule well in advance repeated things like homework, projects and any days you might be working or unable to study. Colour coding is super helpful to see what is taking up the majority of your time and once you have clarity on where your time is being spent you can start to work out where you can save time on tasks.
2. Get ahead and don’t procrastinate
If you are using your time wisely and ensuring your ahead of your workload, then you are ultimately giving yourself the best chance to get some free time. Procrastinating will only add to your pre-exam stresses and increase your to-do list pile. With your list increasing, motivation becomes harder, so best method is to ensure you are ahead of your study and get a start on your assignments to free up more time to spend with your friends and family. Also, keep your phone away, it so easy to get stuck in the Insta vortex, especially when you have spent hours reading and revising so keep your phone in another room so you can stay focused and smash out your study.
3. Why not study with your friends?
Yep, just like you, your friends are probably trying to get the most of their time so why not catch up and revise your notes together? You can also have break times together, make some snacks and then get back to your studies with a clear head (and a full belly).
4. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and also eating healthy
There are countless benefits to getting enough sleep each night and with high stress situations or when we are time poor we tend to make excuses to sleep less. But sleep deprivation is your worst enemy, without enough sleep you will be less alert and probably more on edge than ever before. Prioritise sleep and give your body a chance to rest and recuperate. Sleep is proven to help with our moods as well as our ability to focus, de-stress and also think more clearly. And just like with sleeping, your diet is super important when you are putting in long study sessions or getting your assignments done. So stick to snacks and meals that are healthy and proven to help with brain power like fresh fruit, fish, eggs and dark leafy greens. If you have to have coffee, ensure it is no more than one a day and swap out that 3pm coffee for a green tea or protein shake. Your body and mind will thank you.
5. Download some helpful apps so when you do get some down time you can actually learn to switch off
Studies have proven that relaxation and some time off are actually better for your studies and mindset, so don’t put off taking some time out for yourself. Relaxation is key to getting ahead in your studies and it is also proven to reduce depression and help with memory retention – so it’s a winning recipe! Try the app Headspace, it’s free on Spotify for students and it can teach you the art of meditation among other relaxation exercises like breathing and general mindfulness.
Overall you need to ensure that you are not neglecting yourself all together come exam time, skipping meals and working through the night, as doing this is only going to be detrimental to your health and well-being come exam time. Find a healthy balance between study, life admin and also seeing your friends. Exercise is also a great way to catch up with friends while giving your brain the time it needs to function at its best. Putting in at least 30 min of solid exercise will wake you up and have you feeling re-energised for the long night of study ahead, so why not add a walk or gym session in with friends? That way you can all catch up, chat about where you are with life and your studies and all reap the benefits at the same time. WINNING!
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