by Kate Fitch, CMWN Volunteer

Midterms are fast approaching for the college and high school crowd, so I thought I’d give you some of my personal tips for staying well through this high-stress period!

  1. Schedule time for self-care. I know it feels like you don’t have time to indulge in your hobbies, go for a run, cook a nice meal, or whatever else composes your personal self-care plan, but I promise that spending 30 minutes on your self-care won’t harm your study. In fact, it will likely help by giving your brain time to decompress and digest what you’ve been learning. So when you’re making a schedule for your cram week, throw in a few self-care breaks. Your body and mind will thank you.
  2. Use the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique is a productivity and time management technique that divides your time into bursts of uninterrupted, concentrated work, and completely work-free small breaks. Every few cycles, you get a long break. Download a free Pomodoro timer on your phone and try it out, it has helped me immensely in staying focused on my study.
  3. Eat well. I know it’s tempting to just grab vending machine snacks and rely on sugar and caffeine to get you through, but we all know that isn’t working at your best. Take the time to plan out meals and snacks and make a large grocery errand before you hunker down for the week. That way, healthy choices are readily available to you when you need them most.
  4. Talk to your friends and family. No, not as in texting them when you’re supposed to be studying. Take a few minutes every hour or so (during your Pomodoro breaks!) to call a friend just to talk. Isolation tends to make everything seem even more overwhelming to me, so coming up for air to chat with someone sometimes really helps.
  5. Create one really great affirmation. Keep it with you while you study on a small note-card, and look at it when you need some encouragement. Here are some ideas:
  • I am able to do whatever I put my mind to, and I put my mind to succeeding at these exams.
  • I am valuable beyond my exam grades, so while I will try hard, I will be okay no matter the result.
  • I love myself, and I am proud of myself for putting so much hard work into these exams.
Staying Well Through the Midterm Season