Sometimes that pink lump in your skull needs a rest.
If you’re a stresshead about exams, you might be tempted to lock yourself in a room with print-outs all over the walls and cram as much information into your brain as possible between now and walking into the testing hall. But that’s a mistake.
All you’ll do is break your mind through overwork. Instead, you have to get out, get moving and get fit. Here are some ways to keep your exercise routine going when you need to be studying. (Or, you know, starting an exercise routine when you need to be studying.)
Know the signs of mental fatigue
If you’re feeling physically exhausted after a day of sitting around, getting cranky and irritated with the people around you, or can’t get focused on your work, it’s a fair bet your brain needs a break. That means it’s time to get some outside input. Stare out a window for a few minutes, and you’ll begin the recharging process. That’s step one.
Step two: go outside
All it takes is a 20-minute burst of activity to get things flowing properly in your mindtanks. Leave your home and go for a walk. Move more quickly than you normally would, and listen to some music or a podcast while you’re on the go. The pumping blood flow will do good things for your energy, memory and mood.
Give yourself a day of mental rest
Yeah, you might have lots of facts and figures to get inside your head, but you still need to give your brain some time to recover. That means marking out a day that’s all about physical activity. A bushwalk is a good way to reconnect to nature, or get a group together and play footy, basketball or something along those lines.
Build exercise around your study routine
If you know you learn best first thing in the morning, schedule your physical activity for later in the day. That way you won’t be wasting your brain’s best thinking time.
Mix it up a bit
Apparently people tend to do better on exams if they exercise three times a week. But that doesn’t mean you have to go and run along the same road every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Throw in some swimming, take up a team sport or walk a different way when you’re listening to that podcast. Spice it up!