- 03 Jan 2023
- Medical Revision
Embarking on the journey of medical revision is a challenge. It's a demanding process that often brings stress and pressure into our lives. The key is finding a balance between immersing yourself fully during study sessions and then completely unwinding afterwards. Here are seven tips to help you navigate the delicate equilibrium of a medical degree and relaxation:
1. Master Your Tasks with a To-Do List:
When your mind is buzzing with ideas and key points during revision, a to-do list can be your lifesaver. It's not just a random assortment of tasks; it's your roadmap to clarity. Writing things down not only frees up mental space but also helps prioritise what truly matters. Organise your thoughts, set priorities, and regain focus with a well-structured list.
2. Energise Your Mind with Exercise:
Break free from study stress by engaging in short, intense bursts of exercise. Whether it's a brisk run or a friendly game of badminton or football, physical activity can do wonders for your mental health. The mind and body are intertwined, and a little heart-pumping action can dramatically improve your ability to refocus.
3. Find Serenity in Meditation:
While meditation might not be everyone's go-to remedy, it can be a game-changer in preparing for significant exams. If you've ever wondered how some people remain calm and composed amidst impending exams, they might be onto something. Meditation offers a sanctuary for your mind and body, providing a well-deserved period of complete rest. It’s important to note, that meditation comes in many forms, you don’t have to sit cross-legged with your eyes closed, find what works for you! It may include conducting a digital detox and getting away from your screen for a peaceful walk, listening to music or even something as simple as meeting a friend for a quick coffee. Sometimes all you need is a quick reset to de-stress and reduce mental fatigue.
4. Fuel Your Brain with Quality Nutrition:
The quality of the food you put into your body matters. Ensure your diet is rich in nutrients to support your brain's optimal function. Foods such as vegetables and fruits contain fibre, slowing down digestion, and helping you to avoid peaks and troughs of energy ensuring consistency when revising for medical exams. Hydration is equally crucial, so keep your brain refreshed with plenty of water to enhance concentration during those long study sessions. The BBC reported those who take drinks, particularly water, into exams, performed on average 5% better than their de-hydrated counterparts. Demonstrating the importance of hydration during exams but also when studying, as hydration improves concentration and reduces fatigue.
5. Adequate Sleep:
Ensure you get enough quality sleep each night. Lack of sleep can significantly impact cognitive function and concentration. According to the News in Health, if you haven’t slept, your ability to learn new things by up to 20%! When dealing with the irregular sleep schedule of a medical student, it’s vital sleep is always prioritised to reach your maximum potential during exam season.
6. Mindful Breaks for Mental Clarity:
Incorporate short, mindful breaks during study sessions to clear your mind. Take a few minutes to practice deep breathing, stretch, or step outside for fresh air. These breaks provide a mental reset, preventing burnout and enhancing your ability to absorb information.
Why not set yourself a series of goals in the lead-up to a particular task or exam? When you achieve your goal, reward yourself with a little treat - simple things like a trip to the cinema with a friend or a quiet meal with your partner in your favourite restaurant. Breaking your ambition into smaller goals can help you retain focus and allow you to feel that you are making good progress towards a bigger goal.
Studying is a marathon, not a sprint. By incorporating these strategies into your routine, you can navigate the challenges presented by medical school with resilience and maintain a healthy balance between focus and relaxation. All the techniques provided may vary in success depending on your personal preferences, so try them all out, and see what works best for you.
If you are feeling particularly down and feeling everything is hopeless, we’ve partnered with the mental health charity, You Okay, Doc?, to support our users through tough times as we understand the immense pressure medical students are under.
After speaking with Dr Daniel Gearon, the founder and CEO of You Okay Doc?, He spoke highly of the various formats of wellness and how they can benefit an individual’s mental health, varying from spirituality to exercise, there are a variety of techniques that can be used to benefit mental health. To learn more, head to our TikTok and find out what he had to say.
- 03 Jan 2023
- Medical Revision