Exam season is without a doubt the most stressful time of the year for me. So far I have already been swamped by final projects and midterms, and actual finals haven’t even begun. A recent 2:30 AM breakdown over a research paper had me thinking about ways I can take care of myself better this finals season.
1. Pomodoro method
I know you’ve heard it a thousand times, but the Pomodoro method actually works. Working for 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks is the best way to focus without getting burnt out and frustrated. I find Pomodoro especially helpful when writing papers or reading long and complex essays for class.
2. Fuel your body
It’s so easy to turn to coffee on a long night of studying, but pairing it with a healthy snack can help you focus and give your body much-needed fuel for long nights. Skipping meals during a long cram session will make you distracted and weak when you need to be at 100%.
3. Work in a little exercise
Sitting for long periods is so bad for your physical and mental health. Even getting up and taking a short walk outside or in your home can give your mind a break by occupying your body instead. This is also a great activity to do on your 5-minute Pomodoro breaks!
4. Study with friends
Keeping your friends accountable in their work is a great way to stay engaged with your work and avoid procrastination. Even hopping on zoom with friends or classmates in a virtual study session can keep you on track, especially if you keep your camera on so your friends can see you working!
5. Balance your tasks
We all have classes we enjoy and classes we find more challenging to get motivated in. Balancing time between subjects and changing up your study tactics can keep you engaged in the material without getting sick of it. If you have spent two hours studying for a STEM exam, try focusing on a humanities class for a while to maintain attention to your work.
These are just a few simple steps to take better care of yourself this finals season. Burnout is real, but mindfully working towards a healthy study schedule can only help your performance and mental health during the most stressful time of the college year.