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#BeKind: Taking care of yourself

21 June 2021

4 mins

The #BeKind series is a mini-blog series that forms part of our LSU blog series. In this blog, Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU) London School President, Amie Woodyatt, considers the importance of taking time out for yourself during deadline and exam season.

Deadline season and exam season is probably the worst season… you’re stressed, you realise there’s a section of the module you haven’t revised or a part of your coursework you have forgotten, and it’s instant noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But trust me when I say – if you have a few exams over a few weeks, that’s not going to last!

Everyone works differently, of course, so finding ways to produce your best work and being productive is down to individual preference. Make sure you schedule time off, though. See friends over the weekend, eat something green, take a walk outside over lunch (especially if it’s nice weather!) – give your brain a break.

From my personal experience, here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way to help maximise your productivity:

Manage Your Time

Sometimes last-minute, repetitive revision can help solidify key facts, but if you know the date of your exam, block time into your calendar to revise. It could be 30 minutes a day, an hour on Friday morning (because everyone hates Fridays so you may as well revise) or 2am each day. Everyone has different times where they work best, just schedule a little and often over a month, properly time block it, and you’ll be calmer approaching the big day.

This is the same for coursework too. If you know the due date in advance, make sure you have blocked out enough time to save you the stress of trying to desperately finish your work the night before.

Eat Good Food

I’m not saying instant noodles aren’t good, carbs are the best, but you also need fats and protein to support those work sessions. Get some easy-to-eat nutritious snacks, I’m talking fruit, nuts, or antipasti if you’re feeling fancy. Pesto pasta with chicken/equivalents and veggies thrown in is super easy, or swap the pesto pasta for risotto rice. Frozen veggies are also easy to keep, quick to defrost and cook, and make a great side to your chosen piece of protein.

Drink Water

Human beings are mostly water, so if you want your brain to function at it’s best, stay hydrated! The body will start to shut down if it doesn’t have enough H2O, and I’m not talking about the water you put in your coffee to stay awake. If you’re bored of water (valid), try adding a splash of juice concentrate – I find it’s easier to drink 2L a day if it tastes nice (yep, 2L, that’s what we should be aiming for). You can also check if you’re dehydrated by pinching the skin on a minor knuckle (the first bend of your finger); if the skin quickly returns to normal, you’re hydrated, but if it stays up or takes longer to return, have a drink!

Do Something You Enjoy

Taking breaks will help so much in the long run, so be sure to stretch, go for a walk, or take a nap if you notice yourself slowing down. Don’t be hard on yourself when you do take breaks; splitting work into 30-40-minute blocks has been proven to aid focus – working for hours at a time will boggle most brains. You deserve a break!

Remember that everyone works differently, if you find yourself working at anti-social hours, that’s okay – if it works for you, go ahead, champ. Just listen to your body, fuel it well, and remember to reach out to friends, family, and Welfare if you feel you need support.

We’d love to hear from you about the topics you’d like to be covered as part of the LSU London blog series.

Loughborough University London and Loughborough Students’ Union would like to thank Amie Woodyatt for this blog.

To find out more about the LSU in London, please visit our website.

You can find out more about our Welfare team and how they can support you during your studies, here.

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