The Monday Memo
April 23, 2018 PITT DPT STUDENTS
It’s that time in the semester again when sleep gets sacrificed, stress skyrockets, and most students’ overall sanity is challenged. Yes, I am referring to final exams. While finals are important, your physical and mental health, are just as, if not more, important. During this time of heightened stress on your body it is important to follow a few tips to reduce the chance of overloading your system and maximize your chance at success. Below are a few things to try:
- SLEEP! – I know this may sound counterintuitive, but making sure you get enough sleep during finals week will ensure that you are able to work and study efficiently. Additionally, it will help with memory consolidation (remembering the information)!
- Exercise! – Being active during finals week is essential for optimizing blood flow to your brain during times of extended sitting and studying. I know there is not a lot of free time to workout during finals week, but even a short 15-30 minute bout of exercise can make all the difference. This could include a walk, jog, or gym session, among other things.
- Minimize Social Media! – This may be a tough one for most people, but reducing distractions is important for maximizing efficiency. Even if you are not able to completely log off for the week, try to set goals or time blocks before you are allowed to be distracted by your phone or social media accounts.
- Keep Eating! – It may be difficult to keep eating consistent nutritious meals all week because of crazy schedules and reduced free time, but it is important for increasing your energy during those long hours. Try to stick to balanced meals and avoid stress overeating to avoid a crash. It may be beneficial to do a small meal prep for the week to have some meals and snacks ready to eat when you are too drained to cook. Also, do not be afraid to treat yourself throughout the week for all of your hard work!
- Relax! – Now, this is not to say lounge around all day hoping the information will learn itself. However, it is important to give your brain a break, reduce the stress, and take a second to experience something outside of studying and homework. You could choose your favorite form of meditation (yoga), listening to music, going to dinner with friends, watching a sports game (Go Pens!) etc.
Hopefully these tips help you a little, but at the end of the day every student studies and prepares a little differently so stick with what makes you feel most comfortable. Make sure to support your classmates, and have confidence in yourself. Good Luck!
– Jim Tersak, SPT, CSCS