- Stay hydrated and well-fed. Hydration is a good tip in general and will keep you feeling your best throughout your study time, but you also need to nourish your body and mind with good food. Your brain runs on glucose so you definitely need to fill it with some fuel before you attempt any studying or test-taking. Try packing a meal and snacks when you go to study. Brain-foods include: nuts, eggs, broccoli, blueberries, spinach and even dark chocolate. So get muchin!
- Give yourself a break. If you’re feeling burnt out, take a few moments for yourself! Not only is there no shame in getting up, walking around, talking about something unrelated to school, or just taking a breather, it’s required for optimal performance. Just make sure you avoid using your break to scroll through social media; it can take away from the effectiveness of your study sesh. We all know how it can suck us into taking a longer break than we intended to, distracting us rather than relaxing us.
- If you get the chance: take a shot of blue-grean algae. It’s full of brain-boosting nutrients like, phenethylamine (PEA), chlorophyll, carotenoids, B vitamins, polysaccharides, omega fatty acids, phycocyanin, active enzymes, complete proteins, a host of macro and trace minerals as well as a full array of other phytonutrients (https://www.superfoods-for-superhealth.com). I know it’s expensive, but I’ve tried it and it does make a noticeable difference in my cognitive functions. You feel a little sharper, and ready to take on the next mental challenge.
- Another tip that, unlike the above, is totally free: go for a run! Or do any of your preferred forms of exercise. For me, running is the most liberating form of exercise; I don’t need anything but some music and some running shoes and my feet hitting the pavement. I feel connected with the earth and the endorphins and increased oxygen flow to my brain helps me focus.
- And last, but not least: please get some sleep! As popular as pulling all-nighters to study may be in college and how appealing they may sound as a last resort the night before your test, try as hard as you can to avoid them; they are counterproductive! Getting an inadequate amount of sleep deters your ability to remember things you’ve learned, your ability to absorb new information, and just plain ruins your day. Not having enough sleep means not having enough energy, which makes for less than ideal brain function and test-taking conditions, so get those 8 hours in!
I hope some or all of these tips were helpful :) I know all you health-freaks are studying your butts off right now and I wish you all the best of luck on finals. Remember, take care of yourself for this last little push and you’ll be physically and mentally able to enjoy your winter holidays!
Junior. SDSU. Foods and Nutrition Major