Looking after your wellbeing at assessment time

students relaxing on the steps to Chichester lecture theatre

Assessment time and the lead-up to it can be stressful. With so much to do and prepare for, it can be easy to forget to look after ourselves when we get busy.

Here are our top nine tips for looking after yourself at this time:

Plan downtime

Make a revision timetable that includes time off. Make sure your breaks are clearly visible on your timetable – that way you’ll always have breaks to look forward to.

Use your breaks effectively

If you usually stay at your laptop and switch from work to social media, or look at your phone, reflect on whether your break actually feels like a break.

It might feel better to get up, move around, and have a change of scenery. Research has shown that time spent outdoors is great for our mental health.

Be social

Make time to see housemates and friends. Academic work can feel lonely and isolating, so spending time connecting with others is really important.

Get moving

Whether it’s the gym, a swim or a brisk walk, exercise does you good in so many ways, and it makes a refreshing, energising change after sitting in front of your laptop.

Keep caffeine to a minimum

Be careful with your intake of coffee, tea and energy drinks. Too much caffeine can cause difficulties with concentration and disrupt your sleep pattern, especially if consumed in the evening.

Do make sure you drink lots of water. Herbal teas are another good way to keep hydrated

Eat well

Feed your brain with nourishing meals and try to avoid processed foods.

If you feel like you haven't got time to cook healthy meals from scratch every day, then prepare a batch of your favourite healthy food (like chilli or curry) before exam time and freeze it in portions.

Sleep well

Try to stick to a sleep pattern.

It can be tempting to throw routine out of the window when revising. However, the best way to maintain a healthy sleep pattern and get lots of rest is to try going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time each day. This will help your brain function well.


Do some focused relaxation. Think about what works well for you. Whether it’s a hot bath, playing Xbox, mindfulness, breathing exercises or going for a walk outside – make time for it and enjoy it.

Ask for help when you need it

The Carers and Employability Centre can provide lots of helpful information and advice on academic and study skills to help you study effectively.

Staff at the Student Life Centre are on hand if things feel difficult – call or email them for more information. You can also find more useful advice on the Student Minds website.

See more from 1 December 2021