Well, it is THAT season again. I’m not talking about the Netflix-watching, tree-decorating, cookie-baking season (although it’s that too), I’m talking about the dreaded EXAM SEASON.
If you have been or are currently a student, I’m sure you’re not a fan of this time of the school year. It seems that everything just magically piles up and becomes stressful all of a sudden. Not only do you somehow get behind on readings, but your laundry seems to pile up and your friends suddenly have exciting plans that you don’t want to miss out on. Not to mention the cold weather makes it tempting to stay on the couch and do nothing.
The problem with the way we handle school and exams is that we do things that actually hinder our health and success. Students sleep late, drink way too much coffee, eat fast food that’s not nutrient dense, and procrastinate on their tasks. While we don’t blame you, we also know that those things are not helping you in the short or long term. That’s why we’re here to help you get through it as smoothly as possible! As tempting as it is to grab “junk food” and a large coffee, we highly suggest that you try these alternative healthy habits instead:
1.Take a breath. Yes, as simple as that sounds: you WILL get through this and you CAN succeed. Deep breath in through your nose, deep breath out through your mouth. You got this.
2.Get organized. Often, we feel at a loss of control because when our rooms and notebooks are messy, so are our brains. Take an hour or so to give your home a quick cleaning and write a to-do list based on due dates. This way you prioritize your assignments and not to mention, crossing them off the list as you complete them feels GREAT.
3.Hydration. This is KEY. It may not be convenient to go to the bathroom often but your brain and body need to stay hydrated. Add some lemon, strawberries, chia seeds or other foods into your water to make it taste better and to make it even more beneficial for your body. Headaches often occur from lack of hydration, especially when we get caught up in our busy, student lives. We all know doing school work with a headache is no fun.
4.Feed your brain and body nutritious (and delicious) foods. I can’t stress this enough! I know that being on a student budget and also not having much free time can make this difficult. Luckily, there are so many options nowadays. Make yourself free for an hour or two, head to your closest grocery store and grab lots of fruits, vegetables, greens, and snacks like nuts and seeds. If you can meal prep once or twice a week and pack those foods in your bag, it makes it SO much easier to eat healthy. This way you can grab an apple from your bag if you’re hungry instead of heading to the closest convenience store for a bag of chips. While balance is key, it’s those healthy foods that are going to give your brain and body all the energy to handle this intense time.
5.SLEEP. While it can be hard to sleep early because you have lots to do; our #2 suggestion of getting organized will help you manage your time better and in turn give you more time for sleep! Our bodies basically recharge when we sleep and it gives you all the mental and physical energy you need in order to succeed. Pulling all-nighters may feel productive while we’re doing them but unfortunately it only brings more stress later on. Your body cannot function on that few hours of sleep for long (and it shouldn’t), and eventually it starts to shut down. So, in the long run, those all-nighters are actually ruining your chances at reaching those A’s.
6.Supplements. There are some great supplements out there that can further help you, and luckily we’ve got them! Greens such as spirulina, chlorella, broccoli, and others are packed with micronutrients and give you lots of energy. Greens are also super easy to add into your smoothie or you can buy them flavoured so that you can mix them with water and drink them on-the-go. ‘Focus Formula” includes ingredients such as vitamin C, E, Omega 3 and Gingko Biloba; all things that will help your brain focus and stay energized during those long days. We will link this and other products in the “References” section so that you can check them out and give them a try.
We wish you lots of good luck during this tough season and remember: YOU GOT THIS.
-Iren Frasheri, CNP