Looking after yourself
- Stay Hydrated - it's easy to get lost in what you're doing and forget
- Take in 'Brain Food' - OK maybe eating oily fish by the bucket loads is a little over the top (and will not make you very popular if you live with people) but if you've got a busy day studying ahead of you perhaps a massive spag-bol and cheeky alcoholic drink (if legal) is not the best idea
- Watch your Caffeine - Now as serial tea drinkers (we are British after all) this is a tough one.
Pros - It keeps you alert; keeps you warm; makes you feel 'work-like' particularly if sat at a desk; it's a good prop when engaging in thoughtful musings or debate; it's a screen break and you can put it in a quirky mug (on a quirky coaster)
Cons - it dehydrates you; can be a source of procrastination "I'll do that section after I've made another cuppa"; although dehydrating you it is also a diuretic, which makes you need the toilet (another distraction) and it can really mess up your sleep
Solution: drink a glass of water for every caffeinated drink and stop having them after 5-6 o'clock
- Take Breaks - it's a myth that powering on through is best. If you're genuinely tired then sleep (as long as you're not avoiding work) if you need to go for a 10 minute walk - get some air and start again.
- Make Lists - one can not express the joy of ticking something off a list...why? because even if it's the longest list in the world it means that you've done something. And well done you! Seriously though it takes it all out of your head, which can be overwhelming, and means you don't forget things. It also makes things look achievable in small steps
- Get Dressed - although it is very tempting to study in your pyjamas you need to feel 'in the zone' and sometimes slouchy clothes make you just want to curl up on a chair and watch Star Wars
- Put Yourself Under the Right Amount of Stress and Pressure - There is a right amount, and it's different for everyone. Anything that you strive towards brings a certain amount of pressure; it's new; it's a challenge. But listen to your body and mind - trouble concentrating, irritable moods and not being able to sleep are not good for you. Seek some help - talk to a friend; a tutor; a parent. Get it off your chest and work with people who can help you manage your work or your time. And remember what John Lennon said; ' Life is what happens while your busy making other plans' - there is always a way forward if you don't get that score you wanted then it just opens up something different that's all.