We know that January can be a dull month. We’ve said goodbye to Christmas, it’s dark and it’s the exam season. We’ve also got the arrival of Blue Monday, which is scientifically proven to be the most depressing day of the year.
We really do feel your pain, which is why we’ve put our thinking caps on to give you some ways to help you get through January and your exams!
Don’t neglect your mental wellbeing
University and exams are crucial, but the most important thing is you. Make your health a significant focus this month and ensure you’re actively working to prioritise your mental health throughout a period where you’re also prioritising a big old workload.
Why not go to the library to work, instead of revising in your bedroom? This could help you to switch off at the right times and will help you separate your personal life from university - allowing you a productivity zone on campus, and a relaxation zone at home.
If you are struggling to switch off, then look to others for support to calm your busy mind. There are plenty of mindfulness apps, and you can visit the UWE Bristol wellbeing page to find out all about the support on offer to you.
De-stress fitness can help
Looking after your physical wellbeing regularly can help reduce stress. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, which are proven to trigger a positive feeling. We know it can be hard to fit in regular gym sessions when you’ve got a lot going on, but doing just thirty minutes of exercise a few times a week can help give your brain breathing space. Why not get out and about and explore Bristol, or sign up to our MOVE programme: a fitness initiative that caters to your schedule and any fitness level. Find out more here.
If you’re someone that gets lost in a work bubble and forgets to take breaks when needed, there are apps that can send you reminders when it’s time for a rest. You can also plan your work to cater to short bursts of productivity. Work out a time of day when you’re least productive and use that period of the day off to rest.
Or why not break up different topics of revision in different locations to focus your brain on the task at hand? Try an hour or two in the library on one subject, then move to a coffee shop to work on another.
Set mini rewards after you’ve finished a piece of work and you’ll find that you have something to easily motivate you. Similarly, make sure you plan a nice event for after exams, as a little gift to yourself – it’ll keep you focused throughout the month.
You’ve got a friend in stress
What is it that they say? A problem shared is a problem halved. Make sure you and your friends support each other through the exam stress.
Whether you’re having a rant, creating flashcards and testing each other, or reminding each other when it’s time to take a break, having a good support network around you in January always makes the month easier.
Moments of distraction are key
Here at The Students’ Union, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to inject some fun into January, with a range of events that aim to work as a moment of respite from your busy workloads and to kick-start your productivity.
This month, HallsLife has created a range of exciting events to aid your academic progress during the exam period: including exam breakfasts, pizza parties, board game nights and a big giveaway on social media. You can also reward yourself after exams are over, by joining in some other big events: such as a back to school-themed SUesday and our first ever Refreshers’ Fair. Find full information on our events calendar here.
Good luck this month – we believe in you! If the assessment period is taking its toll and you need any more support during this period, remember we house our very own Advice Centre, who can support you on anything from personal situations, to academic issues - and UWE Bristol also has a range of support available.