Personally, I really struggle with the exam period. I'm not the best at coping with stress and I can get really down during the dreaded few weeks. I might've considered dropping out multiple times when I've got 4 exams in 4 days. And then I can get so stressed, I stress about being stressed, and stress because I'm not doing any work because I'm stressing, and stress about failing everything...
Obviously not a good cycle.
But despite all that, I have found a few ways that help me to pick up my mood and get back into a good frame of mind and being productive. It's allll about the mood you're in. Have you tried revising when you just want to burst into tears at the 9am exam the following morning? Trust me, you won't be able to concentrate and recall a thing. Keeping up your morale is SO important, for your mental health and well being and for your grades, and here's my best tips for doing that:
Give yourself something to look forward to
I work so well on a reward based system. Get through all my exams and then go on holiday? Bring it on! Last year, my boyfriend promised me a milkshake from my favourite cafe after each exam and that was enough for me! Write down what you want to do when you finish exams and keep checking it when you're feeling down in the dumps. It reminds you that a life DOES exist beyond textbooks and past papers.
Talk to people
This is so important, though admittedly I am the worst for this. But take it from someone who knows, internalising it all and doing it on your own – it's not good. Talking to someone really DOES help. It'll help you to feel less alone with it all and talking about it and getting it off your chest does wonders, I promise. Be careful about talking to people on your course though, it might make you feel worse when they say they're super on top of revision and feeling really confident!!
Take some time off
It can be more productive to take a day off from revision completely and then come back to it than struggling through. Don't be afraid to step back from it for a bit and turn off revision mode. You don't need to be revising constantly 24/7 during exam periods and this can actually be counter-productive. Step back from the text books, go for a walk, retail therapy, put a film on, read a book for fun. Then come back and revise with a clearer mind and more motivation.
Look after yourself
It's more important than ever to look after yourself during exam period. Your brain needs to be working as well as it possibly can, and this means a good nights sleep, keeping well hydrated and eating the right foods. It'll make all the difference and will make you feel better too. Another good tip for boosting morale is exercise. I'm not one for exercise, but just going for a run, doing some yoga or my fav of getting on a horse! I'm sure you've heard the benefits of exercise so I'm not going to bore you with that but if you're feeling down, try doing something that uses muscles other than those for writing and gets the heart rate going other than the way that anxiety does before you walk into an exam hall. Then tell me you don't feel better for it.
I was a bit hesitant about putting this one on here because it certainly won't be for everyone, but it worked well for me last year. I made a blog on tumblr and started following the #studyblr hashtag. I found it so inspiring to see everyone's beautiful notes - it reminded me that actually I quite like studying and making cute revision posters and flash cards. It reminded me that revision didn't have to be dull and no fun, and the pictures of everyone else studying makes me super motivated. When I'd finished making a revision poster I'd upload it onto tumblr and the likes and reblogs always made me a little bit happy. I've also picked up some good tips on there! It may be worth checking out if you're quite studious but just get stressed during the exam period, but I wouldn't suggest it if it'll likely make you feel even worse about your revision.
These are, for me at least, the 5 best ways to keep my morale and motivation up during the exam period. It's a horrible time, but just remember that there will be a time after exams and remind yourself why you're putting yourself through this!
If you've got any other tips, I'd love to hear them. Leave them in the comments!