Sunday, May 12, 2013

Studying sucks life out of me - 10 things to survive exam periods, mom's edition

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I'm in a stressful place right now, with the first exam approaching and the feelings of "I can't do this!" creeping on me. I've spent the last two hours in a downwards spiral of feeling unwell and procrastination, with some bouts of crying and lots of pacing (and not looking at my notes, which is what I should be doing). Top it off with a teething, biting baby and a Partner who is not home, and you get the picture. It's not pretty.

In an effort to get back on track and escape a nervous melt-down, I sat down and wrote a 10 things... list about things I (and any other student-mom) can do to survive the last weeks of school. 

Here's what I've come up with: 

  1. Take a shower. A hot, steamy one, to relax and let go of some tension. If this leaves you sleepy and you are brave (I am not!), finish with cold water: this will wake you up in a flash, and many swear it's really invigorating.
  2. Take a walk. Fresh air and open spaces can do wonders for a tired mind. You can even bring your little one/s with you, and it may help them too!
  3. Snack. If you are like me, stress might leave you with a tight knot in your stomach, but food is what will keep you going. Raw nuts (almonds are my favorites), a yogurt and fruit smoothie, some cookies... Give your brain a but of sugar to munch on while it works!
  4. Stop, take a deep breathe and play with your kid. Your little one needs you more than you need those minutes of study, and seeing that smile and those twinkling eyes might as well help you concentrate again.
  5. Even if it seems like a waste of time, if you need it, take a nap. I can't stress enough how much this helps me, once I get over the guilt.
  6. Along the same lines, do something completely unrelated. You are trying to memorize Rome's emperors? Try some baking. Battling with perspective and the theory of colors? Put some music and dance.
  7. If you've got more than one subject to study, mix it up. Do not try to study it all in a linear manner, specially if it something like history.
  8. Also, break it down. Thinks are easier to digest if eaten in little chunks.
  9. Tell your little one what you've just studied. A month after Oath was born I had to resit an exam, and I managed to study by making up lullabies about the most important parts and singing them to put him to sleep.
  10. Timers! You can use them in many ways: time how long it takes you to answer certain questions; let them tell you when to rest for a while (before Oath I followed a 45 minutes of studying / 15 minutes to rest routine, now it's more like 30/10th. Whatever works, but rest every now and then); use them to study in intervals... They can make it so much easier!

Whatever you do, though, do not give up. You can do it.

And you? What helps you focus when it feels like you can't? Do you have any tips or tricks?

Oath's Mom


  1. És un post molt divertit i útil!
    Moltes gràcies per participar en el sorteig!
    Molta sort!

    1. Gràcies a tu per fer-lo! A veure si hi ha sort...


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