This stressful time of the semester usually consists of no sleep, junk food galore, never ending caffeine, and enough reading to make you rip your hair out or strangle your neighbor (it’s cool Maddy and I are still friends ;))! While I can’t give you the answers to your exams, I can give you some tips to help stay SANE and make it to break feeling healthy, happy, and alive! What are your favorite finals week rituals? Share your tips below!
1. EXERCISE – Bet you didn’t guess I was going to say this one huh? You don’t have to spend hours at the gym, but be sure to do SOMETHING to keep you active! Do a quick 20-30 minute HIIT workout, take a yoga class, or just take some time to blow off steam at the gym. Working up a sweat will distract you, relieve stress, and give you more energy to stay focused and hit the books again. The hardest part is getting there, but trust me, you will be glad you did after!
2. MAKE A SCHEDULE & STICK TO IT! – Write out a block schedule of how many hours you will dedicate to not only each exam, but each lecture/chapter/etc. Planning out what you have to do beforehand will help you feel more prepared with a plan of action. The key to this tip is to stick to your plan, in order to stay on track and ahead of the game. If you want to talk about to-do lists, holla atcha girl because I am obsessed.
3. EAT GOOD, FEEL GOOD – Let’s be real, if you eat an extra large mad mush cheesy bread, you will FEEL like an extra large mad mush cheesy bread. Fuel your brain to keep you focused, full, energized, and content. Choose nutrient dense foods, including fiber and protein to keep you full. Plan ahead for your long days at the library by packing a healthy wrap or salad. Pack snacks like fruit, veggies, trail mix, yogurt, granola bars, almonds, etc. Avoid all the free study traps like cookies, candy, and chips. It is likely you will over indulge and feel stuffed, bloated, greasy, blah, gross, you get the gist. Do NOT skip meals, even if you are too busy, whatever!
4. STAY THIRSTY – Drink lots of water to keep you hydrated, awake, and avoid mindless snacking. Try adding cucumber, berries, or lemon to zest up your agua. If you need that extra caffeine jolt, do your best to drink it black, or with skim/soy milk. Too much sugar and cream is no bueno. Tea is also great to sip on while studying…warm with lots of antioxidants! Sleepy tea with chamomile is my favorite to help calm my nerves and get me to sleep.
5. SLEEP – Try to get AT LEAST 6 or 7 hours in (8 is ideal, give yourself a pat on the back if this is you!). Sleep deprivation will only make it more difficult to concentrate, retain information, and increase stress levels. If you are too stressed/nervous to sleep, drink tea or take melatonin, a natural, non-addictive sleep aid.
6. CONTROL YOSELF – If you know Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are your pitfalls, then stay FAR AWAY. Delete the apps off your phone, and only study with your computer if you absolutely NEED it. Macs can use a website called self-control that allows you to block these addicting websites for a certain amount of time…pretty cool! Know your down falls, and avoid them.
7. CREATE MINI REWARDS – Tell yourself, if I finish this lecture, or if I don’t check my phone for the next hour, I can take a 15 minute break on Facebook or read my celebrity gossip. Create mini motivations, challenges, or goals in your head to keep you going.
8. FIND YOUR MOJO – Pick a quiet space to study with few distractions. Be wary about study buddies…pick those who will motivate you to be quiet and focus, not those who chit chat and rub their procrastination off on you. Use 8tracks to find a killer playlist, and create an environment where you are as productive as can be!
9. BREATHE – aaaand exhale! After you turn in that exam, there is nothing you can do! Do your best, forget the rest. The rest is out of your control, so REFOCUS, move on to your next subject, then BREATHE and celebrate when you are finally done!!!
10. BELIEVE! – Positive self-talk makes a huge difference! Tell yourself you’re a rockstar, and finals ain’t got nothin on ya! YOU GOT THIS!!!
Peace and Protein, Katie