As exam season approaches, some of us are in full swing, others still have a few weeks to go before the chaos begins! It can be stressful navigating your way through revision, dealing with pressure, beginning to think ‘what if’ and as a result, we forget how to look after ourselves.
Sometimes unexpected things can happen during the lead up to exams and it’s crucial to highlight what it is that you can and can’t control. Whilst it can be frustrating when things are out of your hands, look at the controllables! This can also make you feel at ease for having that understanding of ensuring you limit what can go wrong, and that you essentially have the power!
There are many things that you can be responsible for and managing your time and wellbeing can enhance your performance during exam season, whilst avoiding bring burnout. One of those things is self-care. By self-care I don’t mean face masks and bubble baths (though it is a good way to relax), self-care is doing things where you have your own best interest.
Here are some of my top tips on what self-care can look like throughout exam season!
- Plan your revision
When scheduling a revision timetable, my advice would be to overestimate how long it will take to complete something, rather than underestimating. This way, you’re not rushing to get everything done and won’t feel guilty if you haven’t completed everything.
- Make time for other things!
Exams are important, but making time to see friends and family, exercising and eating right will also help you to look after yourself. This will help you to reduce stress and take a break where it’s needed. Doing too much can be overwhelming so having time for yourself is good for your mental health and you’re less likely going to burn out!
- Limit Distractions
We all have different ways of studying, so it’s important to have an idea of the environment you excel most in. Many like to work in the library but some can find it too quiet. Some prefer revising with friends, but for others it can be a distraction. This can be super important for your well-being, as often if we get distracted and feel unproductive, feelings of guilt may arise. This is the opportunity to control your environment and know what your distractions are and minimise them!
No exam, assignment or grade is worth sacrificing your mental health for. If anything feels like it’s too much reach out to someone, a lecturer, a loved one or a helpline. Looking after yourself will always be priority number one, as you won’t be the best version of yourself as a student, trainee doctor or even human, without listening to what your body and mind needs. And if you ever feel like you’re the only one going through it, chances are someone right next to you probably is as well!