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24 May 2019, 17:21
Preparing for your exams isn’t just about putting all those hours of revision in. Of course you’ve got to work hard, but it’s just as essential to take care of yourself at the same time.
Look after your health when you’re revising for and sitting your exams, and your mind and body will thank you. Here are seven ways to stay fit and well around exams.
Whether you’re into running, yoga or football, keep it up alongside your studies. Exercise releases happy hormones and helps us relax and unwind. The night before an exam is an ideal time to do some physical activity, as it should relieve some tension and tire you out so you’re ready for a restful night’s sleep.
Food is your fuel, so keep it balanced and nutritional. It might be tempting to choose quick fixes like caffeine and sugar for energy. But fruit, vegetables, whole grains and nuts leave you full for longer, putting your concentration and alertness at peak levels. Staying hydrated also improves brain function and helps distribute nutrients around your body while removing anything you don't need.
You can keep yourself composed in any situation if you familiarise yourself with breathing exercises, visualisation and mindfulness. Try breathing into your stomach rather than your chest, imagining a tranquil scene or simply paying attention to the present moment and nothing else. These tools can make a world of difference to your wellbeing.
When making a revision schedule or sitting down to study, be sure to leave yourself time to take a breather even if it’s just for ten minutes. Notice when your mind starts to wander and recharge it by going for a walk or eating a healthy snack. When you come back to your desk, test yourself on what you were learning before to make sure it’s gone in.
Feeling demotivated? Remind yourself of your future goals and why you want to do your best. Doing this regularly will keep you feeling focused and positive while revising and even when you’re sitting in the exam hall. Visualise how you’ll feel when you collect your results and you’ve done yourself proud.
Keep doing what you enjoy doing. You’ll feel much more contented and relaxed if your head isn’t stuck in your study notes all the time. Make time for socialising with friends, watching your favourite series and doing whatever else makes you happy. If you have a creative outlet like playing a musical instrument or painting, keep it up.
As well as looking after yourself, make sure you put time and energy into studying. Procrastination is only going to let those pesky nerves and doubt creep in. Adopt a ‘work hard, play hard’ approach; reward yourself for all your hard work, but make sure you’re revising effectively using different methods, like flashcards, mind maps and past papers.
Join us for Classic FM's Revision Hour on Saturday from 9pm to 10pm. This week, Strictly Come Dancing star and broadcaster Vick Hope chats about wellbeing during exams and plays a selection of classical music designed to help you relax and focus.
For more information on managing wellbeing during exams, visit The Student Room.