How to look after your mental health during revision and exams?

It is Mental Health Awareness Week this week (13-19 May), hosted by the Mental Health Foundation – the UK's charity promoting good mental health for all. We asked some of our current students to give us some wellbeing advice for exam time, and this is what they told us:

Sarah says:

  • Go over class work – Always review any work done in class on the same day; this helps it to stay in your memory.
  • Know your learning style – There are many tests online that can help you find your style so your study time will be more effective and time efficient.
  • Keep snacks handy – A hungry student makes for an unfocused mind, so make sure to keep healthy snacks close like fruits, nuts and occasionally some chocolate because, let's face it, who doesn’t like sugar?! 
  • Exercise breaks – Instead of taking a nap or a Netflix break, take a walk, go for a run, or do a short workout to regain focus and be energized.
  • Listen to your body – Sometimes it is better to rest than to force study for hours, retain no information and become mentally exhausted. 

Meghan says:

  • Eat well – Keep yourself well hydrated and eat balanced meals that you enjoy.
  • Make a plan and stick to it – Include lots of time to rest and enjoy yourself away from your studies.
  • Work with a group of others – This really helps to lighten the load.
  • Manage stress – Use apps like Headspace or Calm to help with you meditate, practice mindfulness and manage stress.

Sharika says:

  • Get enough rest – It is much needed for your mental functioning and health.
  • Give yourself time for self-care – it’s important you manage your time in a way, that allows you to have time for yourself, where you are not revising or making notes but instead, treating yourself and doing what makes you happy.
  • Socialise – Schedule your hours so you can incorporate some time to socialise with friends. You don’t always have to turn off your phone throughout your whole revision day.
  • Don’t leave things for the last minute – Try and revise ahead of time rather than being too relaxed with it, avoid doing this by starting revision earlier, this way you can balance your revision and feel more prepared.
  • Speak to someone – Whenever you feel like you need to talk to someone, be it family, friends, support staff, a therapist, anyone you feel comfortable to.

Albert says:

  • Go to the gym – I train almost 5 times a week and I call it my “dopamine fix”. There’s not much that beats the after-gym feeling!
  • Be mindful – I find that meditating and listening to gospel music helps me a lot. My faith is an important thing to me, and it helps to know that regardless of what “mountain” I have to face, I am not alone.

Did you know? 

The UCO has a dedicated Student Support team who are on hand to provide advice and guidance on a range of issues, including learning and welfare, budgeting and finance, disability and dyslexia, pastoral care, bereavement and personal issues, as well as counselling. Read more...

Remember that it's okay not to be okay, and there are a number of things you can do to look after yourself and your mental wellbeing. Speak out, tell someone, you're never alone. Read more... 


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