The start of Lent Term means new classes, schedules, group projects, and other obligations for students at LSE. For most postgraduates, the added pressure of finally turning more attention to dissertation proposals and research makes for a busy start to the new year. Throughout the first few weeks of Lent Term, many of us are also juggling summative papers and exams from our classes in the Michaelmas Term. During such busy and challenging times, it’s so important to remember to safeguard your mental health in order to feel and perform your best. Here are six simple ways you can take care of your mind and body during high-pressure weeks.
Go outside for a walk
When juggling multiple deadlines, it can be tempting to settle in for a long, uninterrupted study day at the library, a favourite study spot on campus, or your room. But the best way to improve and maintain your focus is to take breaks! One of my favourite ways to reenergize during a long study day is to talk a walk outside. Whether it’s sunny or not, even a short, brisk walk can do wonders for boosting your focus.
Often during our busiest weeks, nutrition can fall to the back burner. But prioritising healthy meals and snacks during stressful times will help ensure that you’re doing your best work and feeling your best. If you’re studying on campus, pack protein-rich snacks to get through your day. If you’re working from home, take a quick trip to the grocery store and stock up on colourful fruits and veggies, protein, and some treats so you can stay fuelled while studying.
While it’s tough to stick to a regular exercise routine during final exams, it’s important to remember that even just 20 minutes of moving your body is well worth it. If you don’t have time to make it to the gym or your regular workout activity, try a new at-home workout like one of Yoga with Adriene’s classes. On Yoga with Adriene’s YouTube channel, you can pick from dozens of free yoga sessions, usually lasting from 20-45 minutes, to fit the time you have available.
A daily meditation practice is a great way to calm your mind, mitigate stress and improve focus. The best part is it only takes a couple minutes! You’ll notice a difference after just 3-5 minutes of daily meditation. If you need some guidance, you can try an app like Headspace to help get started.
When our schedules are at their busiest, it’s hard to find time to socialize with friends. Intentionally building in time for socializing, even just briefly, will help take your mind off your exam or deadline and lift your spirits.
Lastly, this is your reminder to prioritize sleep as much as you can during stressful weeks. Do your best to stick to a consistent sleep schedule and aim for at least seven hours a night – you won’t regret it.