6 Ways to Take Care of Yourself This Exam SZN

Exams can be a stressful time when it feels like your score will make or break your grade in a class. It can be easy to neglect our mental and physical health while going hard in the library, so here are six ways to take care of yourself this exam szn.


1. Remember What’s “important” vs. What’s IMPORTANT

Yes, it’s important to do well in school, but your physical and mental health matter more than any exam grade or GPA score ever will. Please don’t sacrifice your mental or physical health because you think doing so will help your grade. You matter and are important no matter what you score on an exam. Also, try to gain some perspective. If you don’t score as high as you want, there will be other exams and other chances to boost your grade. One course or exam won’t make the world stop turning. Also, plenty of people have failed an exam or failed a class in their lives and gone on to lead successful and happy lives. Ask your parents,  and professors or go online. Chances are at one point in their education, they didn’t do so hot on an exam, and they turned out okay regardless. I’m not trying to put you in the mindset of failure, but just know that one score on one exam won’t determine the rest of your life.


2. Take Time Just for Yourself

Take some time just to do something you enjoy. Whether you want to go visit a friend, go for a walk or have alone time someplace that’s quiet, the choice is entirely up to you. You know your body best, and you know how much time you need with yourself. Some people only require a few minutes of a mental break, while others may need an hour. Oh, and don’t get into a mindset of “I don’t deserve a break” or whatever else you may be depriving yourself of. Even if you only accomplished five practice problems in the hour when you swore you’d get through at least ten, if you’re overwhelmed and feel like you need a break, then take one. You may not feel happy with your progress, but high-stress times are the times when you need to be kind to yourself. If your body and mind are telling you they need to stop for a moment, then listen.



3. Eat Something Good For You

When you’re up late studying or you’ve been at the library all day, it can be very tempting to gravitate towards unhealthy foods that are easy and quick for your meals and snacks. However, in both the short term and long term, these kinds of foods aren’t doing your body any favors and are most likely going to make you feel worse. Healthy snack foods like fruits, nuts and grains will give you long-term energy and keep your body going. Also, eating healthy meals doesn’t mean having to have a salad for dinner, and cooking doesn’t have to be an hour-long event. Throw some simple chicken in a pan, cook for approximately ten min (or until the chicken is no longer pink), add some veggies for another five minutes and then boom... dinner = done.


4. Use Sensory Tools to Relax

Personal fact: I have really dry skin — especially in the winter —  so I have found that lotions not only help my skin, but the aromatherapy they offer helps with my stress as well. Stores like Bath & Body Works offer all different kinds of scents, many particularly designed to help you relax. If you’re sensitive to lotions and smells, then there are plenty of ASMR and meditation videos on YouTube and Snapchat that are also good for destressing.


5. Stretch

Been hunched over your computer for a couple of hours? Lean back. Roll your shoulders and neck around every once in a while. Stand up if you like. Stretch even the parts of your body you don’t normally think about. For example, open your jaw; you may find you’ve been doing unhealthy habits, like grinding your teeth, without even realizing it. Your body and mind will thank you for taking this simple little break.


6. Reach Out

Whether it’s a venting session with your friends or going to on-campus resources for mental health, there are plenty of shoulders to lean on. Know that school is hard, and you’re not alone in this. The people in your life want you to succeed and are there to help you. All you have to do is reach out.


Everyone stresses out about school every once in a while. We’re only human. While it’s okay to care about your grades and GPA, you should always care about your well-being more. Good luck this exam szn my scholastic baddies.