Surprise! Midterms are just around the corner; yes, it comes quick! What can you do to best be prepared and survive exam season as gracefully as possible? If you start preparing yourself now, it may go a little smoother, and make your recovery time following exams a little quicker. Everyone does exams differently so it is important not to compare yourself to others. Do what works best for you! Turn your blinders on, buckle down and do not let exams set your health regimes back too far.
Make a plan
Make a study plan leading up to exams. Break up the hours in the day according to what you need to study and when. Try putting your hardest subjects during a time of the day when you focus best. Stick to the schedule and adjust it as needed. If you find yourself struggling harder than you need to, or just losing focus, go for a walk or call a friend. Breaks are important; just be mindful of how long they are. Make sure to include work outs, food prep and spending time doing some self-care activities
in your daily planning.
Pulling all-nighters is just not a great game plan. Many students fall into the trap of thinking it is necessary to do in order to be successful during exam periods. Research has shown that students who pull all-nighters have a harder time making decisions, struggle with recall as well as have delayed reactions times. All-nighters are also shown to decreased learning capacity by 40%! Not sleeping during the night may also have long term consequences for overall cognition, as well as suppressing your immune system and disrupting your hormonal balance. If you are a new student and you are flirting with the idea of staying up all night to cram, re-visit that plan now. You have time to get yourself into a good sleeping routine
. Your health and decision making are worth it. Start studying early and you will be able to sleep better come exam time.
Eat good and Exercise
Grab groceries before the your midterms start and take some time to do meal prep
. This will help you to keep your focus and avoid sugar crashes by not needing to grab quick, carb-rich foods during studying. Exercise should be a part of every student’s weekly routine to help manage stress and stay active. It acts as a stress reliever by bringing fresh blood flow to the brain and keeps our overall health in check. You do not need to spend hours at the gym, and you won’t have the time to, so keep your workouts brief, but intense. Go for a 20-minute run and do three sets of squats. Something short but performed daily will help you better cope with stress and keep your health on track!
You WILL survive exam week. Midterms come and go and before you know it, there is another set of exams quickly approaching. Challenge yourself to tackle it as best as possible by asking for help, keeping your heath in check, and preparing as best as you can ahead of time.
Best of LUCK!
Amy is a certified nutritionist with over 7 years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She is currently in her fourth year as a Naturopathic Medical Student and has a special interest in gut and brain health.
Find her on Instagram: @amy_kwilson