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    Posted on Nov 28, 2014

    15 Ways To Beat Exam-Time Burnout

    Exam time is upon us all here at RyeHigh. Here are some sure fire tips to make sure you stay healthy and happy during the next few weeks, so you can avoid burnout altogether. Written by Ramisha Farooq, storyteller for RU Student Life

    1. Stay positive. Try anyway.

    This seems like a given, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to let stress become a serious problem. Make sure you keep telling yourself that it'll be over soon. Surround yourself with positive people and take study breaks every so often. Put in the work now and you will soon reap the rewards! In no time it'll be the holiday break and you'll be sleeping 'til noon! Keep on smiling.

    2. Drink plenty of fluids.

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    I don't mean coffee. I've said this in other posts and I'll say it here again: coffee is helpful in pulling an all-nighter, but it is in no way, in combination with the lack of sleep, healthy. Drink lots of water and/or teas. Caffeine and sugar will get you nothing but a date with a massive headache. Stick to clean liquids. Might I suggest lemon water? It's great for cleaning your liver and will keep you hydrated all day long.

    3. Put some of your extra-curriculars on hold.

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    I realize that your Musicians@Ryerson concert is coming up and that it is a big part of your life, but if it along with work, school and your family is starting to overwhelm you, it's time to let it go. As someone who has three jobs, is a journalism major, a part of five school clubs and needs at least four hours of sleep each night, I can tell you from experience it is just not worth it. For a few weeks, just take a break and learn to say NO.

    4. Take frequent walks.

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    Walking can also be substituted with yoga. Just do something to help you relax and return to your peak mental state. Get some more oxygen into your system. A slow, peaceful walk through the city or whatever GTA suburb you live in will help you re-focus on your task and eliminate the stress that has been building up in your body. Do this at least once a day.

    5. Stay among friends and family.

    Do NOT isolate yourself. I repeat, stay with other people. Being alone during a stressful time only makes things worse. You start to think the worst about everything from your projects and exams to the fact that you can't find your shoes.

    6. Track your progress

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    Having some sort of way to track your progress helps you focus on everything individually, one-by-one, really helps. You're also able to see how much you have on your plate and activities you might have to put on hold until you get the most important work done.

    7. Stop being a perfectionist.

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    Draining yourself entirely of all your creative and productive juices to perfect every one of your projects is setting yourself up for failure and exhaustion. Pulling an all-nighter because you think you'll get everything done is not the way to go. Do as much as you can without sacrificing your need to sleep, eat and relax. These are the keys to a productive person. Productivity doesn't mean hurting yourself by staying up all night working on something.

    8. Move around.

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    Sitting at your computer for long periods of time doesn't help you focus on the task at hand. Moving to different locations every once in a while will give you a mental re-fresh. Once you finish one activity, get up and move. Start at your desk, then maybe move to a kitchen table. Then maybe the café across the street?

    9. Become your own best friend.

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    Surrounding yourself by positive messages will give you a constant mental boost. Leave little post it notes around your computer on your fridge. Or even get someone else to do it! (What they write will be a surprise!) Most of the time, you are your own worst enemy. During a time of great stress, it's time to become your own best friend and support yourself. Simple things like this really make a difference.

    10. Break up your projects.

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    Diving into a project sometimes isn't the best idea. Stepping into it one toe at a time by breaking your work into little chunks, helps you manage your tasks. This in turn helps you keep a mental priority list and prevents more stress. This is a much healthier way of completing a large project.

    11. Call a friend.

    You know that friend that you love a lot and haven't talked to in a while? They miss you. There is no better time to put down your pen and pick up the phone. And when I say phone, I don't mean text or facebook message them. CALL THEM. This is a great way of catching up and talking away your stress. If you're anything like me, you isolate yourself when you're trying to study. This isn't healthy or productive. Talking can help you forget about your worries, even if for a short time. Call them and talk about school, about work, about Keeping Up With The Kardashians or the creepy guy that was trying to sell you Reese's cups. Talk it out. It'll help.

    12. Feed yourself well.

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    If you're anything like me and most of the human population of Earth, your diet dictates your mood. So if you're shoving junk food in your mouth because it's easier than preparing a meal, you're going to pay for it later. Feed yourself at least every four hours. And I don't mean with a bag of Cheetos! Try some salad greens with a sandwich and fries. Or a smoothie! Your energy level will go through the roof and not because you just inhaled a bag of skittles. There are healthy alternatives to study snacks too! You just have to look!

    13. Ask and you shall receive.

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    This one is hard for the crazy control freak, like myself. But when the times get tough, ask for help. This is not a matter of pride in being able to do your work yourself, it is a matter of health and your mental well-being. Despite popular belief, your professors are human and understand that you have a life outside of their class. Ask them for help. Not all profs will be responsive to this, but what is the worst they could say? No? What's the harm in asking? Ask and you shall receive.

    14. Laugh out loud.

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    It might be time to watch that cat video you've been itching to click on. Listen, you've been working hard. The absolute least you deserve is 30 seconds to watch a cat video. It relieves stress and makes you laugh! The best kind of medicine.

    15. Start a morning ritual.

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    Start your day off SLOW. Don't rush, don't panic. Wake up a few minutes earlier and just lie in bed for a bit. Just think. OR get up and make yourself some tea/coffee. Sit in your kitchen and drink it slowly: savoring every sip. Start your day off the right way to set the tone for the rest of your busy hours.

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