This is a slightly different post for me but it’s something that I am trying to be conscious of as I think many of us forget about our health when we are in periods of stress. Since moving out of my family home I am now in complete control of my own health. It’s up to me to decide what food I am eating, when I go to bed and when I wake up. I have always struggled to stay in a routine when I am on exam leave and it’s even worse now that I live with my boyfriend instead of my parents. In the last 10 days, I have overhauled my routine and I am now 1 exam down with 2 more to go.
The first area I looked at was sleep. My sleeping habits were affecting everything. I was going to sleep at 3am waking up at 11am or 12pm and not doing much during the day. Now I have started going to bed at 1am winding down for half an hour by catching up on a book or a TV show. I then wake up between 8.30am and 9.30am. By waking up at this time I’m allowing myself to have a slow morning, I take an hour to wake up, get ready and have food before I jump into studying. I am aware that waking up earlier than 8am is better for productivity, however, I didn’t have time to have a day where I was sleepy and lethargic.
(Can we appreciate these amazing bedsheets from Primark, this can be flipped over to just have the clouds but my favourite part of Toy Story are the aliens. This set was £20 but I absolutely love them.)
After I sorted out my sleeping the next area to look at was food. I had become pretty lazy with food over the last month, snacking more than having proper meals and skipping breakfast because I was sleeping so late. I decided to keep a food diary in my bullet journal and was pretty surprised with how unhealthy my eating habits were, I don’t think I had a proper breakfast for a full week.
Now when I wake up I have breakfast usually consisting of porridge or yoghurt and fruit. I also try to have a glass of water or fruit juice. I then have a cold coffee three hours after I wake up. This is apparently the best time to have coffee as you actually benefit from the stimulant. Having coffee as soon as you wake up is not beneficial as it will make you tired only a few hours later.
For lunch, I am now having either leftovers from dinner the night before or having a sandwich with fruit or carrots. I have cut down massively on how much sugar I am consuming and although there is still biscuits or small bits of chocolate here and there it is nowhere near as bad as before.
Dinner has been the biggest food area to overhaul. I was not having healthy dinners, I was snacking far too much and my dinners were just unhealthy. Now we have set a meal plan and are trying to stick to it. We don’t specifically stick to set dinner’s for each night but we do have the meals at some point in the week. This has helped with our food waste and our healthy eating.
Slightly relating to food I have started taking fish oil supplements. For years my Gran has been telling me to take multi-vitamins and things like fish oil as it will be beneficial and honestly I’ve never gone out of my way to buy vitamins until now. Fish oil is really good for the heart and blood pressure and although I don’t need to be worrying about that right now it’s really good for the brain. Specifically, with memory and for exams you want your memory to be the best it can be. A supplement isn’t a replacement for eating fish but it is an extra boost.
Getting out of my pyjamas and dressed to face the day has made such a difference to me. Before I was showering and putting on fresh pyjamas or loungewear as I haven’t been leaving the house much. However, this really hindered my productivity. I was too comfy and it just wasn’t making me want to do much at all. Now after I am reaching for clothes that are comfy but that I would also wear outside of the house. Things like leggings and a t-shirt with a hoodie, nothing that makes me uncomfortable to sit in whilst I am at my desk. Such a small thing but it has really helped me.
The last thing I am doing to stay healthy throughout exams is to make sure I have time to myself. I take regular breaks throughout the day and I take half an hour before bed to switch off from studying. It’s so beneficial to take time for yourself and I think so many of us forget about this. Take an hour and go for a walk, watch your favourite TV show when you’re having your dinner, just take time away from the books!
I hope you have enjoyed this post. This also explains why I have been a bit more silent over the past few weeks as uni takes priority over everything else.