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Body break: Studying for exams
Exam time is just around the corner for university students (still a couple blocks away for high schools) and the pressure of exams and studying is really starting to set in as the home stretch is clearly visible. In order to combat the stresses of trying to stay as prepared as possible, I think it is just as important to leave yourself time for you. Your mind can only take so much stuff in before it starts rejecting it, and finding that balance of learning (or re-learning) information and relaxing and allowing those ideas to marinate is key to the school experience. Here are some of the things that I do to allow myself to relax when studying or the night before an exam:
-Just go to a movie, take a couple hours off for you to engross yourself in a big picture projected onto a wall. The time in a dark theatre will often prove to be very relaxing, and will allow your brain to focus on something besides your studies for a short period of time. Now pass the popcorn!
-Write a blog! Often times the best way to get your ideas and feelings out there is to put them on paper (or nowadays onto keyboard?) If you really want to test your knowledge, try writing an opinion piece about what you’re studying! It will give an anecdotal look at what you’re learning and help flex those writing muscles for the upcoming weeks. It also doesn’t matter where the blog gets posted, you could even just delete it right after!
-Take a walk, sitting on a chair at a desk in a room full of dusty books isn’t everyone’s favorite pastime (I’m talking to you, libraries of the world). Sometimes it is good to get out there in the world, especially with the upcoming spring weather why not take a way around town, on campus, or even just sit in a local park. A bit of fresh air will clear your lungs, as well as your brain.
School is definitely not a walk in the park, but at the same time it doesn’t have to be complete torture. The best thing you can do for yourself is to recognize when you’ve had enough studying and take some time off for yourself. People too often associate doing nothing with being unproductive, but just like our bodies our brains need rest to. If you use any of these suggestions (or ones that work for you) you may begin to notice that you’re sleeping better around exam time, thinking clearer, and enjoying your time in school a little bit more.
Please post the ways in which you help yourself study best in the comments!
Max is a long time volunteer turned employee for mindyourmind as a Youth Outreach Assistant during the summer of 2012. He enjoys blogging, cats, and the state of Utah. Check him out on Twitter: @maxamilli
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