Live Smart and Study Smart – 5 top tips to look after your wellbeing while getting through exams

Hi everyone! My name’s Beatrice and I’m currently in my second year of studying towards a PhD in Research Humanities. It’s taken a lot of studying and hard work to get here and these tips have really helped me manage stress throughout exam-time and my studies. I hope you’ll find them helpful too!

For many, exam time can be a huge source of stress. It can feel overwhelming, intimidating, and a time to prioritise your wellbeing most of all. This short article will give you 5 top tips to take care of yourself and look after your wellbeing through your exams while still taking care of your finances, and having a positive impact on the planet and the world around you.

1. Get outside!

This may seem like an obvious one, but sometimes the best thing you can do is take a break from your desk and go for a walk, or even just sit in the garden for a breath of fresh air. Cheltenham is home to a number of parks – Pittville, Sandford, Montpelier Gardens – and the sun is just coming out on them at this time of year!

If you prefer to go for a walk with purpose, the Uni of Glos Chaplains run dog-walking events every Tuesday at 12:30pm. If you’re in Oxstalls, head to the Business School, and if you’re in Cheltenham head to either the FCH Chapel or the Laurie Lee Building at Pittville. For more info, feel free to text Jo on 07801183620 or join the WhatsApp group.

Furthermore, our very own Live Smart team regularly offers outdoor events and activities at the Park Wellbeing Garden to give you something to do in the fresh air. You can join the WhatsApp group for more information and to stay updated on what’s going on (email to be added) – but usually it’ll be some kind of craft event, gardening, or even outdoor games.

May be an image of dog and text that says "A Walk in the Park Join UoG Chaplains and their dogs for a lunchtime wander round the local park Mondays 12.30pm meet outside FCH Chapel or Pittville Sanctuary) Tuesdays 12.30pm (meet outside Park Sanctuary) To find out more, text Jo on 07801183620"

2. Write it all down!

It can be such a fulfilling experience to log your thoughts, anxieties, and goals every week and watch how far you grow within the space of a few weeks, months, or even hang onto them for years to come. It can help you get out of your head for a little bit, and just spill how you feel. I love to use this as a way to get my head around the tasks and assignments I’ve got to do – I use it to write my to-do lists, weekly plans, and break down my schedule into achievable chunks.

If you’re looking for a new notebook to help you with this, try looking at VENT for Change, a sustainable stationery company that protects the planet and supports children’s education projects worldwide.

3. Clear your mind by clearing your space

When everything gets a bit overwhelming and you need a way to take your mind off everything, it can really help to give your workspace a bit of a tidy up. I find that having a cluttered desk and room around me can really increase feelings of stress and anxiety during this already stressful time.

Grab a carrier bag and root through your wardrobe, and bookshelves to find things that you can clear out to make some new space! We’ve got donation bins set up all over campus taking donations for the British Heart Foundation that will ensure your unwanted items will be going to a good cause, and helping save lives in your community.

If you’re in need of a little extra cash, sites like Vinted exist to help take your pre-loved clothes off your hands for a decent price, meaning you can pass your clothes on to someone new who’ll love them, and make a little bit of cash back at the same time.

Ten tips for keeping your student room clean and tidy | UCAS
Source: UCAS

4. Eco-friendly options for your relaxing, candle-lit bubble bath

When you settle down for a relaxing bubble bath, consider the products all around you. Can any of these be switched for refills? Shops all around Cheltenham (Holland and Barrett, The Organic Grocery Store, Boots) offer refill options for your products to help you save on re-buying wasteful plastic packaging. Often, these work out as better value and save you money in the long run as you’ll often be buying in bulk!

Did you know that Cheltenham is often host to a range of lovely markets? One that I personally love and recommend is checking out the Craft Market along the Promenade on the third Saturday of each month to see a range of locally-made, ethically-sourced and independently sold products such as candles and soaps.


5. Positive options for comfort food (or making your own)

Have you heard of Vegetus? Or Falafel King? Cheltenham has a range of delicious, local, vegan options for comfort food that are a little kinder to the planet than ordering the classic McDonalds or KFC, as well as supporting independently-owned local businesses instead of a big brand chain.

If you’re looking to save money, we recommend our very own uni refectories, or home-cooking! Stuck for inspo? Check out our blog for 3 meat-free and mind-boosting meals.

With all this in mind, I hope you can navigate through the exam stress more comfortably, and with more kindness for the planet too. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll smash it!

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