Blog Post // Tips For Surviving Your Exams
Hi Fit Fam,
This week that just passed was very difficult for me. With 3 midterms, 3 job interviews as well as assignments all due within a very short time frame, I found myself getting into bad habits. I would pull all nighters, drink copious amounts of energy drinks and eat absolutely horribly. I was not prepared for a week of hard work, so I let myself fail.
Today is the last day of hard work this week and it really got me thinking about the number of ways this week could have turned out differently. Simple little things I could have done to keep myself on the right track, just never occurred to me till afterwards.
So, for any of you who have exams or a really busy period of work coming up, here is a list of tips I would have liked to of had.
1) Plan your week ahead. If you know you have a lot of work coming up soon make sure you are prepared. This means making all your meals in advance and creating a schedule of your week that organizes and prioritizes all the tasks that need to be accomplished. A great way to do this is in an agenda or even by making a daily list in your phone. A great app for this is called 24me Smart Personal Assistant, which allows you not only to schedule your days in advance but also insert links to webpages, emails or even phone numbers you may need to call.
2) Eat to fuel your brain. The food you are nourishing your body with during stressful times have a lot to do with your body’s ability to function. Make sure you are fueling your body with fruits, vegetables, grains, fats and protein. Ensuring you are meeting your daily macronutrients will allow your body and brain to function to the best of its ability.
According to BBC’s news article 10 foods to boost your brainpower, you can eat your brain smart. The following were the foods suggested you eat to keep your brain on point.
Whole Grains: choose grains with a low Glycemic Index to ensure that your body is getting the energy it needs from a source that releases glucose slowly into the bloodstream helping you stay alert during the day. Remember to always choose “brown” grains over white!
Essential Fatty Acids: Your body does not produce all the types of fatty acids it needs so make sure you are eating oily fish, flaxseed, soya beans, pumpkin seeds, or walnuts! They not only help your brain, but also your heart, joints and overall wellbeing,
Blueberries: These delicious berries have actually been linked to improving or delaying short-term memory loss.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants that help protect against free radicals that occur in the development of dementia.
Vitamins: Make sure you get plenty of B Vitamins such as B6 B12 and Folic Acid. These vitamins help reduce your homocysteine levels which have been associated with and increased risk in stroke and cognitive impairment.
Blackcurrant: These berries are packed with vitamin C, which has been linked to increased mental agility!
Pumpkin Seeds: A handful of pumpkin seeds is all you need to get your daily amount of Zinc which is essential for enhancing memory and thinking skills
Broccoli: This veg is a great source of Vitamin K, which is known for enhancing cognitive function and brainpower
Sage: This herb has a reputation for improving memory! Couldn’t hurt to add it to your meals.
Nuts: Nuts are a great source of Vitamin E, which helps prevent cognitive decline. Other sources include: leafy green veggies, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains.
Also, don’t forget to eat regularly! Eating every couple of hours will keep your metabolism and brain working at a steady rate.
3) Workout in the morning. Even if it is a 10-minute workout, it is better then not working out at all. Working out in the morning also sets the pace for your metabolism for the rest of the day.
One of my favourite websites is FitnessMagazine.com and they have released a series of easy 10-Minute Workouts you can do at home. With this as your resource you have no excuse, (and neither will I next time the pressure is on).
4) Stay hydrated. One of the most important things you can do is stay hydrated. In an article released by Self.com, even mild dehydration can have a negative effect on cognitive performance.
5) Take breaks. Although you may be under a lot of stress and a tight deadline, it’s important to give your brain a break. If you overload your brain you will find yourself crashing and burning. Take a 15-minute break every couple of hours to relax –your brain will thank you later.
Hope these tips help you during the midterm season. Remember destress, smile and do good things.