t is normal to go into hibernation during finals, especially during your first year in law school when the stakes for a good class rank are higher than ever and the exam taking process is still somewhat foreign. However, exercise, healthy eating, and mental relaxation are important to stay sharp and focused during this stressful time.
So how can you stay fit during this period? First, if you regularly exercise, do not stop merely because it is finals. Do you typically go to the gym or like to run (or both)? Do you enjoy taking walks? Pilates? Yoga? Then continue to do so! Yes, you might want to consider cutting down on your time on the treadmill or taking a shorter exercise class, but if exercise is a part of your routine, giving it up might make you more fatigued and less alert than if you give yourself the mental break you need. You don’t need that during finals.
Second, eat! And eat healthy. Don’t let your diet be consumed by diet coke and some combination of whatever potato chips and candy bars are in your law school’s vending machine. Take a break (notice a theme?) and get some food. Sit down, have a meal, and take some time to absorb the material you’ve learned. You have spent a lot of time sitting with your nose to a book, outline, or computer. You deserve some time to get nourishment and refuel for the rest of your studying.
Exam periods are stressful, that’s natural. Most 1L law school exams are worth 100% of your final grade and that can cause some additional stress and anxiety than you are generally used to. The best thing you can do is to give yourself the mental breaks that you need. Yes, you need to spend a lot of time studying but you also need to focus on yourself. I like to run and made it a priority to get in a short run each day when I woke up during my finals periods. My friends and I took at least one study break of an hour or more to get food during the day. This kept me sharp and focused on the tasks at hand, mainly a successful finals period.
So what do you do to stay “fit” during finals? Let us know in the comments.