1.) Make a plan for the day, and a plan for the week.
Write out all of the things you need to do instead of letting them take up space in your mind. My favorite way of doing this is making 3 categories of things I need to do.
- 1.) Things that need to be done today, in order. This way you can tackle your most urgent tasks in order and not stress about what you have to do next, or if you're forgetting a due date.
- 2.) Things that need to be done tomorrow this way I can prepare myself for the work that I have to do and make sure I have all the materials printed and organized.
- 3.) Miscellaneous tasks and obligations, that usually include making phone calls, sending emails, and random things I need to get at the store. I make this list separate from my school-related tasks because sometimes when we see a to-do list that is too long it can seem unattainable.
2.) Fuel your brain & body!
This is so important to be able to have mental clarity and steady energy throughout the day. This is when a meal prep type of situation could come in handy. Cook up some healthy lunches for the week if you're on the go and don't have time.
- Focus on meals with a good balance of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and protein. Stay away from meals with highly refined sugar and carbohydrates (ex: pancakes, donuts, cereal, energy bars). When you eat a balanced meal it keeps you full throughout the day so you won’t be reaching for a sugary snack an hour later.
Bring healthy snacks! Some of my favorite on the go snack combos include:
- An apple or banana with nut butter packets from Nutzo
- Mary’s gone flax crackers with ½ of an avocado
- Simple Mills Crackers with ½ of an avocado
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Raw Nuts and 72%+ cacao dark chocolate
Stay Hydrated! (You already know this one) Your body needs water to help all of the nutrients absorb into your body. Staying hydrated also keeps you energized, so you won’t be falling asleep trying to study.
Time your caffeine intake.
Knowing when to drink caffeine is so important. Consuming too much can keep you up too late or make you jittery. I am a fan of caffeine in moderation when it comes from the right source! I love green tea, black tea, black coffee, and mushroom coffee. If you’re going to Starbucks click on this to see how to order something healthy that gives you a boost of energy. If you want to see my personal FAVORITE way to stay energized check out my recipe on how I make my special adaptogenic coffee.
This is so important, without proper sleep our brains don't function as we need them to. Lack of sleep also raises levels of the hormone that makes you hungry (ghrelin) so you will end up being groggy, hungry and unproductive. Easier said than done right? Here are some tips to help you get better sleep:
- Clean your bedroom, there’s nothing worse than waking up to a mess when you have lots of other things to do during the day.
- Wake up early and go to bed early instead of pulling all-nighters. Try to wake up between 6-8am. (Earlier if you love the mornings!) You are most productive the 6 hours after waking up.
- Get an eye mask and ear plugs. I sleep with them every night and it has dramatically changed my quality of sleep.
- Put your phone on “night shift” around 8 pm and try to limit your scrolling. The blue light that comes from your phone stops the production of the hormone (melatonin) that makes you sleepy. The “nightshift“ mode eliminates this harsh blue light.
- Relax, meditate, and stretch before bed, I love to use this essential oil lavender spray before I go to bed
- Since we have already got everything written out for tomorrow on your to-do list you won’t need to worry about things you need to be doing, instead leave all of your tasks on paper, they can wait until tomorrow. Take a deep breath and relax!
4.) Get moving!
This is not the week to skip on your workouts. It is important to move your body, considering most of the day is spent in a chair studying or lying in bed. Quick cardio / HIIT workouts for even 30 minutes can do the trick. Cardio based workouts release endorphins which make you feel happy and motivated. This also decreases the stress hormone (cortisol) which will help you focus better in the classroom. It is important to also take breaks every hour from studying to get a quick walk in and give your brain a break. Make sure to not work out too close to bedtime, this can increase your heart rate and adrenaline which can keep you awake at night. If you don’t have time to make it to the gym or studio try these home workouts:
5.) Yoga and Meditation.
It is so important to calm our minds and ground ourselves when there are many things going on, it helps us let go of the feeling of being overwhelmed and teaches us how to release stress through movement. My favorite hot yoga studio is called Core Power Yoga, and if you can’t make it to the studio they have online classes you can do from home.
Using these 5 tips will help you breeze through finals week and help in developing overall healthy habits. Namaste and good luck on finals!