Staying On Track During The Exam Period
Exam season is nearly upon us and, whether you’re doing GCSEs and these are your first big exams or you’re an experienced post-grad sitting finals, chances are you’re likely to spending more time sat down at a desk revising than you usually do. That means far less time being even remotely active (you’d be surprised the difference even just standing in a lab compared to sitting down makes!). Here are a few top tips to keep you healthy and calm during the exam period:
Set yourself a 10-15 minute break once an hour (some even recommend every 40 minutes) Working non-stop for 5 hours straight will, for most, be incredibly unproductive. The human concentration span is reasonably short and therefore having regular breaks (even if this is sat chatting to a friend next to you) will be more effective than long blocks of work. This could be the perfect opportunity to grab a coffee, check your phone (because we all know that you don’t do that whilst revising…) or time to get a few minutes of fresh air.
Have an extended break twice a day It’s a good idea to have 2 extended breaks in the day – think of this as lunch time and a mid-afternoon break. Revision and work for exams, as mentioned, involves a lot more time in a sedentary position and thus this is the perfect time to get in some steps! Venture outside and head to the park for a walk in the fresh air - this is something my housemates and I have implemented recently and we have all noticed a change in mood/fresher feeling on return!
Drink heaaaaps of water! Often during exams people forget to drink – if you’re sat down at your desk with a laptop and textbook in front of you it is so easily done! To keep your brain functioning, prevent dehydration and just generally maintain a healthy body state, keep drinking! I find it useful to set a daily target that I work towards.
Keep healthy snacks in your bag We all know it is SO easy to just snack on anything in sight when it comes to revision. Head out to the shops and take some time just looking at the food available. Cheap, healthy snacks include apples/fruit, hummus and carrots, rice cakes, fruit and raisin mixes, popcorn..! I have been known to whip out a peanut butter sachet and chopped-up apple in the middle of the library (shh) and it’s a great craving killer!
Schedule in down time and workout time Fitting in down time is so important in order to reduce the changes of completely burning yourself out! Setting an evening cut-off gives you time to wind down and chill out amongst the intense period. If you’re doing the GHO fitness plan or make your own plan it is worth planning in workouts to reduce the chances of you ‘forgetting’ or ‘being too tired’. Working out is a GREAT stress reliever and trust me after a long day in the library you’ll need it!
Staying healthy and calm during exams can be hard, but if you do all you can to reduce the stress and keep yourself active you’ll make it so much easier for yourself!