Five self-care tips for exam time

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Not that you need a reminder, but finals are right around the corner. It is a stressful time for all law students. Whether you’re a 1L preparing for your first 3+ hour final exam or you’re a seasoned 3L waiting to conquer your last fall semester, finals can be grueling. Remember to take a few minutes for yourself throughout your studies. Here are five self-care tips to help you feel your best during your study sessions and into exams.

1) Feed your brain!

Did you know the dark chocolate and blueberries help your working and cognitive memory? There is a lot of research out there about how healthy eating can improve your It’s easy with the law school schedule to forget to eat or to grab the first thing (usually unhealthy) that we can find.

An easy way to combat this is to stock up on brain-friendly snacks and set aside some time for simple meal prep and fun study snacks (such as our BARBRI Bites!). Figure out a way to make healthy snacking doable and avoid the vending machine diet. It will help improve your stress levels and prevent hangry outbursts.

2) Be mindful!

Practicing meditation can sound daunting, but even short mindfulness and breathing exercises (think five minutes max), have been proven through studies to increase your alertness during a test and improve working memory. If you’ve never tried meditation, it can be as simple as finding a quiet place to sit and breathe. Try downloading a free mindfulness app or finding a soothing song to take a moment to mentally unwind.

3) Do something you love!

Maybe it’s hitting the gym, playing with your pup or baking a new treat. Whatever it is, work it into your schedule (or if you need some ideas, check these out). It’s easy to lose track of our hobbies and the things we love as we keep up with our reading, work on our outlines and take practice exams. However, take time out of your day to do something that makes you feel good. Not only will you feel better but taking time away from studying can actually help you retain more information.

4) Get those zzzzzzz’s.

Repeat after me, “sleep is good for you.” We all know this, yet it’s hard to not fall into the habit of going to sleep later and later to try to get everything done. But remember, we’re not machines. Our bodies need sleep, and not just any sleep, good sleep! It’s also important to be cognizant of your exam schedule (e.g. “how early is your first exam?”) and find (and keep!) a sleep routine that will have you awake and alert for each of your exams.

So put down your phone, turn off your laptop and try to get some shut eye. Your brain will appreciate the much-needed rest and your future self will have higher energy and be able to problem solve better.

5) Phone a friend

Or your mom! It can be tough to keep up with friends and family when you’re in law school. But remember, your relationships provide you with love and support; these are the people who know you the best! Taking a break to call, FaceTime, Zoom or even meet up with friends or family may offer a much needed break from your law school routine and a bit of perspective.

However, if you are feeling in need of more support, remember to check out your on-campus counseling, therapy and other mental health resources. You have a lot going on, and it’s okay to ask for support!  

We have you covered with our top law school final exam tips. Wishing you the best of luck on your finals!


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