Student Support: How To Stay Healthy During Exam Season

by Dennis Kim

The start of spring normally means two things: warmer weather and exams. Exam season is often a stressful period for students as they focus entirely on their courses and studying. Even upper-level students who’ve gone through many exams go stir crazy after a while. Taking care of yourself not only helps your body physically but is great for mental health awareness. For anyone who has exams approaching, these tips can help fuel you and optimize your health during the exam period.

Eat nutritious meals and snacks

During exam season, life gets busy. Even when you want to keep studying, it’s important to take the time to eat well-balanced, full meals. Avoid surviving on junk food and take the time to sit down and enjoy what you’re eating. Not only does it give you a break from staring at your school notes, but you’ll have more energy going forward.

If you have the time to, cook meals where you can double or triple the recipe. That way you’ll have recipes that can last for the week.

Get a good sleep

It’s important to get enough sleep when you’re studying for long hours. Set yourself a time where you always stop work and stick to it. 8-9pm is often late enough for most people. This gives you time to unwind - have a bath, catch up with friends or family or spend time by yourself before going to sleep. If you reduce the number of hours of sleep you’re getting, it can affect how your body regulates appetite and the immune system makes you more irritable and lowers cognitive functions.

Make time for exercise

When life gets busy, people tend to remove exercise from their schedules. However, exercise has proven benefits for brain activity. It helps get blood flowing faster through your body, including your brain. Exercise helps you sleep at the end of the day and breaks up your study day.

Manage your stress

One of the hardest parts about exam season is the stress that comes along with it. A little stress and adrenaline can be a good thing as they can motivate you to work hard and get things done. But, too much stress can be detrimental and even cause health problems, in worse case scenarios. Here are a few tips that can help you manage your stress levels.

• Start reviewing your notes and course work early and stay organized.

• Spend time with people who aren’t also writing exams and in school. This can be a good way to unwind and take space from your studies.

• Don’t compare yourself to other students. Everyone learns at different paces and discussing how many revision hours isn’t always relevant to how much you know.

• Keep a mini first aid kit that you can use for study purposes that are filled with Advil, Band-Aids and other helpful first aid supplies in case you need them.

See your friends and family

During the exam period, make sure to make time for yourself and your friends. School and studying will always be the priority but if you have a special event, birthday or want to spend an evening off with friends, there’s no harm in that. If you manage your time effectively, you can still do well on your exams.

A lot of students will be in the same boat, so if you want to socialize, you can take part in a study group or take coffee breaks with friends.

Closing thoughts

Looking after yourself and studying effectively go hand-in-hand. Make sure to take the time to fuel your body with whole foods and proper exercise and 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll be more productive in the long run.