Nov 21 2013

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Self-Care and Exam Season

Posted at 9:39 am under Exams

Studying for exams can be one of the most important, and most stressful, parts of law school. The law school provides information about exams here. Many sources, including those noted in posts on this blog (see here and here), are available to help prepare for your exams.

The personal side of exam season is equally important. In addition to contributing to health and well-being, good self-care can have a big impact on the ability to cope with stress and perform well on exams. While valuable any time, essentials like adequate sleep, nutritious meals, physical activity and drinking enough water are even more important during times of stress. Self-care presents a basic challenge over the next few weeks: it takes time that might seem better spent studying for exams.

Consider this observation from Psychology Today:

Too often basic health care goes down the tubes during exam periods. Lack of sleep and exercise, poor eating habits, abuse of stimulants from caffeine to prescription drugs all take their toll. So often during these past 30 years that I’ve been giving final exams I’m amazed that so many students look like they have been in a train wreak as they go through exam week. While it is tempting to do otherwise, it really is critical to health and performance to attend to exercise, sleep, and eating needs in a thoughtful healthy way. Easier said than done I know for most students but abusing their bodies serves no useful purpose and likely negatively impacts performance. Exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy food help ensure that their bodies and minds are working on all cylinders during exam week. If you know anything about systems and dysregulation theory you know that once you let your body get out of whack you’ll pay for it in many expected and unexpected ways.

Some tips and resource reminders from BU sources that may be helpful:

Student Health Service’s Behavior Medicine staff can be a helpful resource for services and support for students who are experiencing stress, anxiety or depression.

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