For those of you keeping track at home, I graduated from law school earlier this month. I experienced a brief and shining moment of relief before reality set in: now that law school is over, I have to study for the bar exam. The bar exam is a two day nightmare that law school graduates must endure to become licensed attorneys. It is offered twice a year in July and February. I will be spending my summer studying for the one in July. This will be an incredibly stressful two months so I've come up with a few rules for the exam prep period that I hope will keep me healthy and sane until test day.
Rule #1--Set Aside 1 Hour Per Day To Workout
The road to the bar exam will be long and grueling. I'm sure there are things that won't get done because studying takes precedence. Fitness is not going to be one of the things I give up. For me, working out is about stress management as well as fitness. I may not be able to drive an hour away for an epic hiking adventure in the woods, but I can go to the gym or ride my bike daily and still have plenty of time to study.
Rule #2--Eat a Healthy Diet
I'm stressed out and I don't have much free time, but I am not going to subsist on a diet of frozen pizza and Au Bon Pain cheesecake brownies the way I did my first year of law school. That kind of stress eating is how I gained weight that year and I'm not going to let it happen again this summer. Instead, I am making time to cook reasonably healthy meals like the cheesy grits and turkey bacon above or the almost vegan macaroni and cheese sauce made with blended cashews, spices, and water below.
Rule #3--Limit the Caffeine to the Mornings
I'm not a huge coffee drinker, but I have been known to drink those little energy shots to finish a paper or in the days leading up to finals. The Sweat Pink Ambassadors were given a chance to review these Lyft energy sticks and I finally gave them a shot this morning before I started watching a Bar review lecture. They're basically little stir sticks that you can use with whatever beverage you are drinking. The stick has some sort of powder on it, but when I stirred it into my green tea, I didn't really notice a taste.
I didn't feel very different after I finished my tea, but that might be a good thing. Energy shots like 5 Hour Energy always make me feel wired and kind of make my stomach hurt. The fact that I felt awake and alert after using the Lyft stick but not jittery is a plus for me.
Rule #4--Get Enough Sleep
This rule goes hand in hand with limiting the caffeine. I do my best studying when I am well-rested. As a result, I need to make sure I get a good night's sleep every night.
Have you ever taken a major exam? What did you do to take care of yourself and manage your stress?