Exam season is near for high school students. It’s the most stressful time of the year: the time of year when people binge eat, or do not eat at all; the time of year when people stay up late cramming for exams; the time of year when people lay around inside their homes studying for many hours at a time.
While worrying about exams, people forget to take care of themselves, which can lead to catching the common cold and flu. I get sick every exam season because I also forget to take care of myself when trying to focus on school and work. With these six tips, you can stay healthy this upcoming exam season.
During exams people sleep less because of the intensive studying and overwhelming stress. Sleep is essential to everyone’s health, and when you are pulling all-nighters doing homework or studying for exams, you are unintentionally harming your body. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night, which may be out of reach to those who absolutely need to study, but sleep is more important than studying. A lack of sleep can limit your ability to remember what you have been studying, making studying basically pointless. Set a specific time by which you will go to sleep, and when you are getting up, even on weekends, to keep a healthy sleep schedule.
2. Eat Healthy
When studying for exams, it may seem easier to open a bag of chips or heat up some Cup Noodles in the microwave, something quick to eat. Sometimes, it is even easier to not eat at all. Yes, it is easier, but, as you can guess, it is a lot more unhealthy. Make sure your diet contains enough healthy and nutritious options. Vitamins and nutrients found in healthy foods help you from becoming sick. When you are snacking all day every day on junk food while you study for your exams, you are making your body lack the nutrients that it needs to run properly. If you crave something crunchy, have some celery and dip. If you crave something sweet, try a piece of fruit.
3. Make Time for Fun
I know trying to minimize stress is close to impossible when it comes to exam season, but stress weakens your immune system, which makes it so you get sick a lot easier than usual. Study for your exams, but make time for activities that interest you and help you relax. Whether that is sleeping, eating, playing video games, watching movies, going outside, biking or skiing, or anything you are interested in. Make a schedule, and make time for studying and for fun. It will help you stay healthy just in time for you to write your exams.
Even if you are not an active person, exercise is key to staying healthy, especially during exam season. Many students will spend hours and hours in front of their laptops or computers or textbooks studying and not moving much while doing so. All you need to do is make time to take a walk, or you could take a run or jog, or even you could try a full-on work out if you make time for it. Not only is it going to make your body physically stronger, but the human body is meant to be active, so if you get some exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, your immune system will strengthen, and you should be able to avoid getting sick this exam season.
5. Go Outside
Going outside and getting fresh air can minimize your stress significantly, which can lead to a healthier you. Believe it or not, being in contact with the outside world, where all the healthy and unhealthy germs are, can prevent you from being sick. Being exposed to germs strengthens the immune system. During exam season, you are likely not going out as much as usual because you are at home studying. Go out and take a break, hang out with friends, take your dog for a walk: these things will ensure you do not get sick this exam season.
6. Dress for the Weather
Going outside and getting active, or just getting some fresh air, is a great idea. However, it is not a great idea if you do not dress for the weather. I know the struggle of not wanting messy hair, or wanting to be able to text without big gloves getting in the way, but not dressing for the weather can affect your health. When taking that study break outside, make sure to bundle up in a winter jacket, gloves, a hat and scarf, and enjoy the beautiful winter wonderland we have outside.
Ultimately, it is important to maintain a balance while studying. Stay healthy! And good luck!