Freedom never felt so good.
And now we can finally recover and reminisce.
Exam season is over, and you couldn’t be any happier. In other words, no more will you have to wake up early in the morning to squeeze in last minute studies. No more will you have to decline your friend’s invitation to go out for dinner because you have a 10 am exam on Torts. And no more will you have to study for excessive amounts of time.
It is done and to sum up, you couldn’t be happier.
I think now is as good a time as ever to say well done. Well done to you on your hard work. Well done to you for staying up late, revising and studying and making new notes on old notes. Well done to you for getting through your exams.
Exams are every student’s worst nightmare. It is definitely not easy.
But fear not; it is no longer an issue for you.
However, with exams, comes the dreaded results day. The fact that your fate lies in an envelope or on a computer screen. It’s funny how we equate our self-worth to a set of numbers which only reflects how we performed on one given day and not necessarily on us as a person.
Remember. Just because you didn’t do well in one or two or more subjects, only tells you that on those given days, it was not meant to be. Overall, however, it doesn’t make you any less of a person. It is not a reflection of your intelligence! YOU are a reflection of your intelligence!
I think it is so easy for us to remember that and yet it is not the biggest nor most important thing that we really need to worry about.
The biggest thing that we need to worry about when it comes to exam is how we look after ourselves AFTER exams.
After exams, you are tired, exhausted, mentally drained, and not in your best form. Despite the happy fact that you will no longer be sitting exams until the summer months, but until then, you would want to make sure that you are still looking after yourself.
That is why I have compiled a list of my favourite top 5 After-exam self-care.
Because self-care is the best care.
#1 DO NOT RELAX !
So, we should probably start with the first and most obvious thing, right? Obviously, you gotta relax after you do your exams. Obviously, you need to go home, sit down and watch Netflix until you run out of TV shows to watch right? WRONG!
Contrary to popular belief, this is quite possibly the worst thing you can do for yourself. And why? Well think of it like this.
Imagine that you have been a professional boxer for 20 years. You have been boxing since you were young. You are approaching the end of your career. You have decided that you wanted to take a break from boxing. Do you suddenly stop boxing in one night? All of those years of training and going to championships and maintaining a constant routine of doing something consistently and you just… stop? Do you think that that is the right way to go about it?
The simple answer is, not really.
The exact same theory applies to exams. Since last year (literally), you have been studying intensively for your exams during the Christmas break and into the New Year. Your mind is so used to studying and consistently doing something; whether it be reciting your notes or making new notes or reading. Your mind has been active for a long period of time and it seems rather detrimental of you to suddenly let all of your hard work go to waste and to stop being active abruptly.
Instead, you should be looking to do an activity, and this leads us to our second after-exam self-care tip.
#2 GO OUT AND BOOGIE
Rather than not doing anything, this tip is fantastic. Even if you ‘cant’ dance, (which I don’t necessarily believe) but who doesn’t like to move and shake to music? We listen to music every day as we travel to and from work or college. We listen to it when we go out for dinner with friends. We listen to music down in the local pubs.
I cannot stress enough how amazing dancing is. Even if you are not a dancer, that’s not the point. The whole point is to relieve your mind and your body of the large chunks of information that you have collected over the past few weeks.
So in the words of Taylor Swift (please don’t shun me) SHAKE. IT. OFF.
I mean literally, shake it off. Go on to your local disco and shake! Shake! Shake!
The best part is that you don’t even need to be a dancer to do this! All you have to do is to simply, get your dancing shoes on, round up a group of friends and that’s it!
Dancing is a really good form of physical exercise. According to Jamie Doucharme, as well as having fun, some its benefits includes better moods, better mental health and better physical health.
So what better way to forget about your exams than to boogie-woogie-woogie?!
#3 FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD
Are there any restaurants that you have been dying to try lately? Are you a food lover like me and you just appreciate food as it is? Th smells, the flavours and the time it takes to prepare them?
One positive thing that you should totally do when you finish your exams is to go out for dinner to a new restaurant. Try something new that you’ve been dying to try for ages and what better time than finishing up on your hard work!
You earned it and you deserve it!
Similarly, to the first tip, it’s important to unwind but it’s important to do it right. And there’s no better way than going out for dinner with friends or even your family.
Did you know that Neuroscientists highly recommend that we include chocolate in our diet and it has a great place in our diet for optimum activity levels for the brain? I’m not going to lecture you on the benefits of chocolate because, quite simply, what’s not to love about chocolate? But in simple terms, it contains powerful antioxidants which support cellular aging and reduces the risk of heart disease and insulin resistance?!
I don’t know about you guys, but I think that my love for chocolate just dramatically increased from learning this…
#4 Spend quality people time
This is really important and I urge you to do this one. You need to surround yourself around positive people.
People who make you happy.
People who make you smile.
People who make you forget about the worries and stresses in your life.
Especially, since finishing up on your exams, the very last thing that you need is any form of negativity. You’re already tired from studying and working really hard on your exams.
For example, if you have a pet at home that makes you feel good and happy, then why not go out for a walk with your pet? Or play games with them? All of this is important because it means that you are freeing your mind from any additional stresses!
One thing that I quite enjoy, is going out for a walk with my little sister. Even though she may complain because I’m taking her out and she’s feeling a little tired, when we do go out, we end up having a great time. Quality sister bonding time.
Not to be one of those people (which I totally am) I wrote an Instagram post about going for walks with my little sister and you can find it here on my Instagram – if you’d like to check it out ! 😉
#5 Look after YOU!
Above all, I think, quite possibly, the number one and first thing that you should do before you consider anyone else or do anything is to look after yourself.
YOU sat the exams. YOU studied for your exams. YOU did the work and YOU should be proud of yourself.
At the end of the day, it is YOU!
Therefore, this means that if you feel like doing or wanting to do something… YOU gotta think YOU.
And nobody else.
YOU deserve a relaxing break. YOU deserve to unwind. YOU are entitled to not want to do anything or to do something to celebrate finishing your exams.
Making sure that you are intact and in a safe and controlled mindset is key for after exam care.
It is so easy to dwell on questions like ‘did I do well?’ ‘what if I failed?’ ‘will I have to repeat my exam?’ ‘ould my family be disappointed in me?’
LET. ME. TELL. YOU. THIS.
Yes, you did well – because you actually DID the exam.
No, you will not fail – unless you only wrote your name on the exam paper, you have a strong chance of passing.
Even if you have to repeat – so what? Nobody is perfect. Repeating an exam is a part of life, and at some stage or another, some of us have gone through that.
Your family won’t be disappointed in you – the fact that you made a commitment to do these exams as best as you can is a sign that you are destined for great things. You could have easily said no and not done the exams but you did.
Just in case anyone hasn’t told you yet – I’m proud of YOU.
I’m proud of you because you undertook one of the hardest things you’ll have to do as a student.
And you saw it through to the end.
And for that reason, please treat yourself – get a new pair of shoes, catch up on TV, read a book, have some quality family time – because you deserve it.
Don’t forget to connect and interact with me on my social media accounts! Please leave a comment down below and let me know what you think of my After Exam Self Care post!
Stay tuned for my next blog post !
All the best!