Self-Improvement/Exams Start Tomorrow

8/1/2017

Today’s morning mantra!
“Stay close to anything that makes you glad that you’re alive” ~Anon

I’ve always believed in self-improvement being important for mental health, since I suffered from a variety of mental illnesses from being young I found that my hobbies were one of few things that made me feel accomplished. Being twenty now and in university I’ve found it even more important than ever before to continue with my self-improvement track. I have a lot of interests which is probably why it means so much to me that I have a  lot of things to try and do, since my university life revolves around science I like to balance it out with creative hobbies like my blog, creative writing and music.

Before I arrived at university I had a lot of plans of things I wanted to do in my free time, I was extremely disheartened when I found out just how little time I had outside of lectures to be able to do the things I had wanted to do. For me, personally, I like to develop new skills and interests, things mostly creative based are usually what I am for however I do take some time to learn languages and study things outside of science like botany, geology and anthropology. To some I suppose this would seem pretty boring and dreary but I’ve found myself enjoying just learning recently. Sadly my motivation and low attention-span recently has made this extremely hard.

I wanted to bring this up now in particular because tomorrow my exams start, I have four exams spanning four days which in theory isn’t all that bad but I’ve been struggling with revision this term having not had to revise in three+ years. I wanted to share my top tips to surviving exam season and revision.

  • Eat regularly and indulge, I find eating smalls meals that I enjoy and eating healthy snacks through the day helps me keep my motivation to work. Nice filling meals offers a good break from working for an hour to re-organise my thoughts and snacks help to keep my mind working and gives me a ten minute break every now and then.
  • Drink plenty of water! I’ve gone through about six pints of water a day this week, it helps me feel refreashed and lessens my stress. I am prone to stress-headaches too so they help relieve them a bit while I study.
  • Know yourself. I know I work best when I have music or a film playing because it makes me feel like I’m not working and it helps keep my attention on work if I feel like I can take a break as and when I feel like I need it.
  • Take breaks. I read a lot of different stories about the best ratio of revision to breaks. I work 20 mins, break for ten and work for another 20 break for 10. It helps keep my attention and gives me chance to stretch, if I get into a good stream of work and find myself working well I often work an hour and break for twenty to give myself a break. I can’t sit for too long in one sitting or else I start struggling to concentrate so I have to break regularly.
  • Be forgiving but also resiliant. Appreciate when you need an extra break or when you’re simply just not working at your best and give yourself some time to get back into your work but also know when you’re slacking off and push yourself to work that little bit longer if you can. It’s important to balance your time well.
  • Make lists, sometimes organising your time on paper or in a way you can see it clearly can help organise your thoughts so you can work better. Plan for breaks, regular meals and plan your work well so you know what you’re working on.

Be happy, healthy and hopeful

~AJ

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