Looking after yourself during exam season

By Emily Maybanks

January is exam season, and January exams are the worst because the weather is miserable, we all have post Christmas/New Year blues and none of us can remember what happened before Santa came down the chimney or we had that New Year kiss. So, here are eight suggestions for how you can look after yourself during the exam season.

Firstly, it is important to eat well during exams. We’re all pushed for time with revision, and it is easy to forget to eat well – it is oh so tempting to order food in rather than cook a decent meal. Eating well and staying hydrated is important to keep those brain cells working.

Secondly, it is important to get enough rest, especially the night before an exam. You may be the chancer who can sit an exam on only a few hours’ sleep – but you won’t be doing your best.

Getting some fresh air during revision and before/after an exam is a good way to decompress. Go for a walk on the beach or in the park, listen to music, lay down in the freezing cold grass (if you’re brave) and look at the sky.

Take time out to relax every so often. Watch a film, read, write, exercise, do what you enjoy doing each day and give yourself a regular break from revision every few hours. Your mind will be more prepared to absorb information when it returns.

Revise in a comfortable environment. This is key! You have to revise in a place and at time that is right for you. Some people like to revise in a quiet corner in the library, some people in bed in their pyjamas and others in a lively coffee shop. Whatever works.

Time management is vital during exam season. Managing your time efficiently between revision, eating, resting and taking time out can be tough at times, but it is important. Draw up a timetable for yourself that not only includes study sessions but also exercise, sleep, food etc.

Find your inner peace. Exams and revision are incredibly stressful for everyone. It’s important to try not to panic too much but no one ever stopped panicking by being told to not panic. So, instead, focus on your inner calm. Find that spot of silence within yourself which nothing can touch. Go there, every day, for at least 5 minutes. And remember, you can only try your best – if it doesn’t go to plan, the world won’t end, you will simply find another way.

Finally, a point that many students forget to implement – after the exams, treat yourself; book a holiday, go shopping, go for a meal, dress up and go out – anything that makes you smile.

I hope these tips help you to exam success. Good luck and keep smiling!


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