How to Stay Healthy During Exam Time

It’s the most wonderful dreadful time of the year… it's holiday exam season. This means that all you want to do is study and die, and the cycle repeats. I know that it can feel like a waste of valuable study time and effort to spend any time of the day doing anything other than studying, so important things like sleep, exercise, cooking and never mind seeing friends get left on the back burner.  

BUT it is so important to take care of yourself during this stressful time so do not neglect your physical and mental health! When you are stressed, which is the case during exam time, your body will have a harder time fighting off infections and managing to stay normal so you need to help your body as much as you can! Here are something you should try to do:

1. Eat Well

I am guilty of this, but when I am stressed and just focused on studying I will definitely skip meals, which is something you should never do! On the other end of the scale do not binge eat either. The best way to avoid these bad habits is to meal prep. For breakfast, cook a batch of oatmeal or make egg muffins, these are great options as they can be made all at once and will last you all week. For lunch, whip up some soup, its warm and hearty and will also last you all week. For dinner try going for a simple beef stew, or a chili, the options for dinner are endless but find something that you will enjoy and can last all week. 

2. Groceries

Now to meal prep, and to eat healthy, you need a well stocked fridge. I know that sometimes it is hard to get up and go grocery shopping but the best thing to do is to go once and buy things that will last you around 2 weeks so that you will have food for a while. Stock up on non perishable items like beans or lentils, these are great sources of protein and can be added into multiple recipes. When picking fruits, opt for those that can last a while in the fridge, things like apples and oranges are great options for snacks. For vegetables same thing, stock up on things that will last you a while, some items to grab can include sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers and kale. Also a good trick is to get some avocados, get 1-2 that are ripe and ready to eat but also grab an avocado that is still a little hard and not exactly ripe yet this way in a few days it will be ripe and ready to be eaten. 

3. Sleep 

I can not stress this enough, you need your 7-8 hours of sleep, if you are studying all day you need to allow your brain some time to rest. The best thing you can do for your body and mind is to cut back on other commitments during the day(I.e. work and volunteering) and spend the entire day studying, that way when it is night time, you will feel like you have studied enough and can go to bed. Set a time where you will stop working, I.e. around 9pm, and be rigid about this, try to go to sleep around 9. 

4. Exercise

Everyone tells you that you need to exercise as it has benefits for your brain activity. But I will be the first to admit that when exam time rolls around I can never get myself to do a full workout. I am always way too tired at the end of the day to go to the gym or to do an at home workout. Instead I will try to do some quick yoga flows, some stretching and will just go out for a walk whenever I can. Though these might not do much, at least it is helping your body. Also stretches for upper back, shoulders and neck are so important if you are sitting and studying at a desk all day. It definitely puts a strain on those muscles so it is important to do some stretching. 

5. Make time for what you love

Whether it is reading, watching an episode of your favourite tv show like Friends, or 15 minutes of reading and even socializing, you should make time everyday to do a bit of what you love. Whatever it may be, take some time every day to do that, it will give you a mental break from all the studying, and it also can be used as an incentive to get you studying. For example, say that you will treat yourself to an episode of your favourite tv show only if you get through a certain amount of chapters. It is very important to take breaks but also remember that you need to get back to studying so try not to waste too much time doing these things.