Ways to self-care during exam season

In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, it’s important to recognise that time should be spent on caring for yourself as well as revising. Students often get sucked in to a “I only have time for revision” mindset, thus being susceptible to study burnout. The effects of this can leave students feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and being pessimistic about their revision goals.

Research over the years has shown that taking breaks from revision and scheduling non-academic related activities during the working day aids the studying process by a large amount. Often, students will accidentally cause themselves burnout by spending whole days at a time solely focusing on revision. Also, this is definitely worsened if you’re leaving revision for a big exam until the final few days (you have been warned)!

By leaving considerable time before your exam to revise, and taking meaningful breaks in between (AKA breaks with no academics involved), means that the prospect of burnout is definitely lowered! When I was studying abroad, another way to refer to meaningful breaks in between work-related activities was known as “self-care”. How it received its name I’m unsure, but practising it regularly is something that I aimed to do. It sure helped me loads, and I know it’s gonna help you all too!

Here are some examples of self-care practices to do throughout the semester, and throughout days of revision:

  • Making yourself some good food — yes, I’m telling you to ditch the ready-made lasagna and actually make something you’d be proud of. Even if it’s an impressive sandwich.
  • Doing your nails — a practice more so for feminine folk, but nonetheless you can’t knock it ’til you try it!
  • Booking a fun event after exams — whether it’s a festival you’ve been planning with friends, a cinema date with your partner, or a solo holiday, knowing that you have exciting events around the corner is way more likely to get you motivated!
  • Organising your stuff/tidying up — this may sound boring but as they say, a tidier house equates to a tidier mind(?!)
  • Practising a new hobby — a good break between revision can be to excel at something else (hopefully)!

Happy studying and Mental Health Awareness Week! x

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