Most athletes have been there — it’s the end of a race, game, match or season… You’re tired, your muscles are fatigued, your brain is exhausted. But somehow, you find a way to push through, because as athletes, that’s what you do. That’s what you train for, right?
As students, it’s now that time of year. You’re likely taking finals and finishing up the semester or quarter and you are tired and just ready for a break, or for something different. This is the time when it might be hard to focus. For some, you are graduating soon and moving on to new things. For others, you’re just ready for some time off to re-calibrate and recover.
This however, is the most important time of year to remind yourself what really matters and to keep things in check. Just like in a game or in your championship phase of the season, now’s the time to do the little things right to keep you on your A-game. Whether you’re taking an exam, writing a paper or presenting your final projects, there are things you can do to help you keep your focus and to tap into those athlete skills inside of you to achieve greatness.
Here are a few things to remember:
Get lots of sleep. Just like you are used to for competiton, sleep is your best friend. This helps you recover and helps your mind to “file” what you learned while studying throughout the day. Sleep also helps performance — on and off the field.
Drink lots of water and eat fruit. Studies have shown that having more of BOTH of these in your body can help maintain higher levels of cognitive function and improve your memory function.
Get some exercise. If you’re out of season, you might need to make more of an effort to get in some training or exercise. If you’re in season, strive for balance over the next few weeks. Both of these things can be difficult to do, but remember that your body is conditioned for movement. So, find a way to stay active in order to keep your mind and body in check.
Take some time away from studying. Breaks can actually be beneficial for your studying. If you sit for too long, your brain can have a harder time staying focused. Here are some ideas for taking a few minutes away while still being productive.
Laugh. Find ways to make yourself laugh while you are studying for your finals. Laughter has been proven to be helpful in a number of ways — it can improve your immune system, reduce stress, stimulate your mind, etc. All things that are going to be helpful as you work to get through these next few weeks.
These are just a few tips, but hopefully they are good reminders for you as you wrap up this important time in your school year. Remember, you’ve got this. Leverage what’s in you to finish off strong.