The exam period is a stressful part of the university experience. This can lead to burnout, lack of productivity, and general apathy. However, there are techniques to maintain your wellbeing and ensure that you flourish in your exams.
You may have read part one of the best of the best wellness tips for exam survival by Tara Stark. As referenced in this article, there is always room for fresh inspiration into our wellness tool kit. We are so lucky to have several lawyers who are also leaders in wellness and in this short piece, we defer to Desi Vlahos, one of Leo Cussen’s supportive lawyer mentors and a Mental Health First Aid Instructor.
Desi is a strong advocate for the mental health of trainees, the wellbeing of new lawyers and the profession as a whole. She currently sits as an Advisory Board Member for the Mental Wellbeing Working Party for the International Bar Association. See what Desi suggests for students as they embark through the exam period.
It’s important to ensure you are setting yourself a schedule to stick to during exam time. A schedule that balances study time with self-care gives your body and mind time to rest, reset and rejuvenate so that you can avoid or reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Remember when you take time for yourself and give your body the food, rest, and activity it needs, you will have more energy to meet the demands of daily life. Bringing more balance to your study routine during exam time will help you be more productive and more resilient to stressors.
How do we do this?
As a start, I cannot stress the importance of sleep, and getting enough of it. Switch off your devices at least an hour beforehand will ensure a more restful sleep.
If you find that your mind is racing, there are some terrific mindfulness apps/websites such as Headspace and Beyond Blue. Mindfulness cuts through the “mental chatter”. It also helps you to be more self-aware in all that you do.
As an avid runner and fitness instructor, I can’t speak more highly about the benefits of exercise. Exercising stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating our mood. Regular exercise, including walking, can positively impact serotonin levels in our brain. Raising our levels of serotonin boosts our mood and overall sense of wellbeing. It can also help improve appetite and sleep cycles, which are often negatively affected during high-stress periods such as exam time.
We know that eating the right kind of food can give us added brain power and increase our energy. As there is a connection between diet and mental health is particularly important to ensure we are eating a balanced healthy diet. Resisting the temptation to snack or load up with caffeine, eating foods that assist with brain function will help us function and perform at our optimum.
Sometime, the best way to develop self-care habits, is by reaching out for expert support. There are a wealth of apps and websites with terrific strategies to stay motivated and in control whilst studying. The Leo Cussen Employee Assistance Program is also available to all Leo students, so you can talk to a mental health expert about any concerns that you might have.
If you are finishing up law school and want to reserve a time to discuss your future PLT feel free to book a chat to ask anything you are unsure about the course. Alternatively, you will find our PLT guide has plenty of information.
Enrolments are open and filling fast. Completing our enrolment form submits your application for PLT and reserves you a place in the course. This form does not commit you to the course and you are still able to cancel your enrolment should you wish to do so.