Brain Food

Your "One-Stop-Shop" for Finals Week Self-Care

Nutrition Team and Active Minds are teaming up to help students eat healthy and de-stress in order to perform the best they can on their final exams!

What is Self-Care?

Taking time to care for yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically so that you can perform your best is what self-care is all about.
This may look different for different people:
  • Some students may go on a run because it clears their mind and keeps them energized to study for a big exam.
  • Other students may watch a quick episode of something on Netflix to take a break from writing a paper.
Self-care may even involve things you normally need to do like preparing meals that give you proper nutrition or sleeping eight hours to ensure you are well rested.  How do you practice self-care?

Eat Better, Do Better!

Ever tried starting a car without gas in it? How’d that workout?
Your body and brain are no different. If you do not provide adequate food and fluids (at least some non-caffeinated beverages), you will not function properly either! Don’t wait for the feeling of burnout to hit before you start to think about yourself. Follow these steps to proactively stay ahead of the misery curve during finals week:
It’s really as simple as…
  • Eat: you probably need to eat more than you realize. Our brains use 25% of all the energy (food) we consume. Think about how disproportionate that is. Think about how hard you will be thinking this week.
  • Fluids are equally important as eating. We are literally 2/3rds water on average, so please don’t neglect 2/3rds of yourself! Dehydration can lead to difficulty concentrating, tiredness, lethargy, etc. Take advantage of things like smoothies and Gatorade– get some energy with your hydration.
Finals Week Tips:
  • In between all that studying make time to eat. You deserve a break. Use this time to eat, even if it is just a little bit.
  • If you get anxious during testing periods, be especially careful with caffeine, as it can exacerbate anxiety.
  • If your anxiety goes to your stomach: use the BRAT formula when planning snacks (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast). These are all easy on the stomach.

Stress Less

Taking a break from the books can help you be more productive when you are studying!
Here are some tips for making the most of your study breaks to release stress:
  • Practicing mindfulness exercises in the classroom such as senses all around and deep breathing
  • Taking a walk with a friend
  • Getting lunch with a classmate
  • Talking to your parents, friends, or a significant other
  • Getting eight hours of sleep
  • Volunteering
  • Writing in a journal
  • Take a warm bath or shower
  • Cook or Bake