There is nothing sexy about studying. I mean it! And even those retro glasses you bought to convince yourself otherwise won’t change that. It’s a grim time, but it’s got to be done. Whether you’re prepping for school exams, university finals or a big presentation, there comes a time when you’ve got to swap Vogue for ‘A Dummies Guide to…’ . Here’s your dummies guide to managing exam stress. Well, close enough, it’s what I do.
- Put your face on. Okay so this first one sounds a bit superficial. I mean, what difference does it really make? I love slobbing around in my pyjamas as much as every other sofa addict. It’s brilliant, especially when you’re having a down day or it’s that 'time of the month’. But this is revision and it’s a completely different ball game. For me, my best studying is done when i’m feeling good - sitting at my desk, focused and motivated. So get serious! Get up early - have a shower, paint your nails, pop on a bit of slap, change out of your pyjamas. If you feel good about yourself, it’ll show through your studies. And you won’t have to run and hide when you see the post man. Win win!
- Have a bath. This is a special treat for me. In Glasgow, I don’t have access to such luxury - but when i’m home I like to treat myself for work well done - if you don’t, who will? It always makes me feel better to have a bath when i’ve got a block. You know that feeling, when you’re sat there staring at a page and the words all blur and start look the same - that means it’s time to stop ladies! Run yourself a wee bath, pour in some bubbles and take a time out! Taking half an hour to yourself can be a brilliant cure for study woes, and it gives your body a lovely treat. Trust me, this step may seem self indulgent but it works wonders for your body and mind
- Don’t skip breakfast. This sounds daft as well, but get up - even if it’s painful - be awake enough to catch some of ‘This Morning’ otherwise you’ll never get that morning motivation! While you’re at it rustle up a bowl of porridge - some yogurt, give your brain some fuel (even if it’s a cheeky bowl of coco pops). Normally, I skip this step, but not when I want to be productive - it honestly helps so much and it’s not worth missing out.
- Make plans. While you’re enjoying some breakfast granola - get out that notepad and pen and make a plan! Jot down some achievable goals - 2 hours of Politics,1 hour for me, 2 hours of English, 1 hour for me, 1 hour collapsed on the sofa. No matter what you do, make this list achievable. I always find it helpful to write out essay plans for each subject, studying past papers to work out what ‘might’ come up. This is something I would add to my list. And trust me, there is nothing more satisfying than ticking something off your To-Do. It helps to solve one common problem with revision - it can seem endless precisely because you can’t just cross it off and put it in a box like an essay submission, there’s always something to be done. Break it down - give yourself a tick.
- Don’t punish yourself. Okay, so you slept in - you didn’t work as well, you had a headache and it just didn’t happen. Okay, do a reshuffle - work a little later into the evening, adjust your plan, tone it down. There is no point in punishing yourself for a bad day, we all have them - I know I do! Just take it easy, extend your ‘me time’. Look after YOU first, because there’s no one else that’s going to do the work for you - make sure you feel well enough to get it done, on your terms.