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How to Stay Healthy During Exam Time

The article is written by Nina Sudnitsin

Exam season has descended upon us university students in Australia and undoubtedly, we’re all feeling anxious.

It’s imperative for your exam success and overall wellbeing to stay mentally and physically healthy during this stressful period. Healthy habits tend to be neglected during intense revision sessions which can result in headaches, soreness and lack of motivation. Instead of hindering your potential success, boost your productivity and wellbeing through conscientiously staying on top of your health game.

Yes, its stressful and you’ll be cramming as much revision as you possibly can 24 hours before your exam, but trust me (and speaking from painfully recent experience), your sleep and nutrient-deprived brain will not be your friend during a torturous two-hour exam of reading and writing. To keep your vision and mental abilities at their peak functionalities take a look at these tips to help you survive exam week and come out the other end relieved and healthy.

planning

Plan your study sessions

Planning what to do during revision sessions is imperative to stay on top of your study. Prioritising your tasks, such as what lectures to review, which questions to practice and what summaries and outlines to do will instantly clear your head and reduce your inevitably high-stress levels.

That being said, everyone functions differently. You actually might prefer unplanned study where you revise anything you can, especially if you’re running out of time, but keep in mind that to-do lists, schedules, checklists and calendars all work wonders for effective study and ensure that you utilise your precious time efficiently.

Extra tip: to clear your head and further discipline yourself, turn off your Wi-Fi and shut down your phone. There are myriad distractions that detrimentally contribute to your valuable focus, so make sure to remove any liabilities.

painting

Take time for yourself

If you feel your motivation dwindling, it may be because you’ve been sitting at your desk for 5 hours straight and words just aren’t sinking into your content-saturated brain. This is the time to take a break and do something you enjoy, whether it be reading a favourite book, playing some music or painting.

Taking time for yourself is alright. There is no use mindlessly notetaking and reading content if you aren’t meaningfully processing and understanding it. During the assessment period, it’s very normal to feel stressed and constantly thinking of revising, but burning yourself out is not the way to a great GPA! So, don’t neglect your mental health and take a break.

sleep

Sleep

Yes, I bet you’ve heard this advice many more times than you can count, but sleep is important. Aiming to get at least 7-8 hours each night is ambitious for exam periods, but it’s imperative if you’ve got an 8am exam the next day. Beds are comfy, so call it an early night before that important exam.

hydrate

Stay hydrated and nourished

Keep your body functioning during stressful exams with nourishing foods and plenty of water. During study sessions, have a water bottle close by. You’ll find yourself inadvertently sipping on it throughout. Not keen on plain, boring water? Spice it up by adding fruit infusions such as lemon, berries and even cucumber, because it’s definitely better than energy drinks for your health.

Another tip is to consciously snack on healthy food such as fruits and nuts to keep you going without feeling guilty (with an occasional chocolate treat)!

walks

Don’t forget to move

Of course, sitting, head down and studying at your desk all day is beneficial towards exam prep, but it’s the opposite of your health! Towards the end of your day, your slouching posture is sure to leave you extremely tired and sore. To keep your blood flowing and metabolism working, don’t skip that gym workout. Get up and walk around, walk around the block if you must and then settle back down for some more study. You’ll be thanking that walk, later on, I promise.

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