April showers bring May flowers.
Undoubtedly, the showers of last-minute revision will reap blossoms of success during your final exams. This is the time to gain momentum for one last effort where it is high stakes and you’re all in.
April is clearly the busiest time of the year, and I remember feeling anxious as well as excited for what the end of the month would bring.
Closure, solace, a big sigh of relief and pride for doing my very best – not just in the case of finals, but also in my life outside of the classroom. Naturally, a bit of self-reflection is to be expected (and encouraged). And although time management and prioritizing are some of the overarching themes during finals season, it is equally important to get daily exercise, a proper diet and good shut-eye.
As such, I want to take this opportunity to discuss how a healthy body can create a healthy mind. Particularly for students, it is essential to eat right (especially during exams!) and not binge on high-carb junk foods.
Instead, we should try to follow the Mediterranean diet and consume foods that are higher in magnesium and can help calm the nerves and keep a pleasant mood (i.e. leafy greens, avocadoes, yogurt, and whole grains).
Other good foods include those rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, nuts, and dark chocolate; and berries that are jam-packed with antioxidants – all of which can boost metabolism, and help the neurotransmitters in the brain, allowing you to focus.
To get some ideas about meal prep, here is a link with 44 delicious recipes created for exam time.
As far as exercise goes, I would actually suggest staying away from the gym. For me, going to the gym always adds more pressure as if it were a chore, and I end up leaving in a sour mood and more emotionally exhausted than I was before.
Instead, I find joy just walking outside, exploring new places or even doing Zumba with friends.
Finally, a healthy body would not be complete without mentioning the significance of adequate sleep. As tempting as it is to pull an all-nighter to make notes or cram, it is super important to have a good night’s sleep the night before an exam.
However, if you’re anything like me and cannot resist studying during late nights, I would suggest studying late all week and doing what you’re typically used to – except for the night of the exam when you need a minimum of 6 hours of rest for your brain to function optimally.
Since most of this is pretty intuitive, it is certainly not redundant to say that you should listen to your body and emotional state of mind, and do what feels right to you. That is, keep your mood in check, your body as healthy as you can, and take a few breathers to relax.
On that note, as my final blog for the year, I would like to thank Heather Hines, for giving me the amazing opportunity to create this blog, as well as Sarah Jane Silva and Yuki Zhong, for their constant support throughout the year.
Thank you for always being a source of good vibes! For the students preparing for the end of academic year 2017/18, I wish you great luck on exams and all the best for the future!
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as I did writing it.
B.Com. 2017 grad
*Aditi will be writing and updating “the First 365” series for 2017-18. These posts will focus on Aditi’s experiences in the work place after graduation.