However, staying healthy during the exam period? Forget about it. When I'm stuck at home or the library all day and stressed out by coursework deadlines, making sure I'm getting my five a day and spending time cooking is so low down on my list.
In an effort to figure out how to live healthier during exams, I asked some fellow postgraduate students for their top tips for staying healthy during exam season. Hopefully this list helps other people who face the same struggle as me!
1. Stay hydrated!
It's so easy to forget or neglect to bring a water bottle to the library with you, especially when you are carrying your own weight in books and a laptop, but if I don't bring any water with me then I won't be able to work for long before I end up with a headache.
2. Buy carrots.
This one really surprised me but it does make sense. Carrots are one of those healthy foods that you can eat raw and a friend of mine really rates them as a great stress food because you can reach for them when you would normally reach for a chocolate bar.
Okay…so maybe they aren't as satisfying in terms of sugar, but they fulfil that desire to just eat something which seems to affect all of us when we are stressed out. Fruit works too but one advantage of carrots is that they don't get bruised in your bag and they have a longer sell by date which means you are less likely to have to throw them out because they've gone off.
The ultimate comfort food – must resist!
3. Do the weekly shop online.
The logic for this is absolutely brilliant. Firstly, walking round a supermarket is a total time eater; I know when I go shopping even when I have a list it ends up taking me at least an hour, plus getting there and back during exams and coursework. I just don't have that time spare. Doing the shop online is much more time efficient which can totally help stress as well.
However, the main way it helps you stay healthy is that supermarkets are very good at marketing junk food to customers. As soon as you walk in you see muffins or cookies on offer, and then you walk around and see more goodies on sale. By shopping online, they can't tempt you with sweet and sugary food and instead you can just buy what you actually need. Plus, you can almost always arrange a delivery time that suits you perfectly.
4. Don't forget your friends.
Revision and working on coursework can be quite isolating, and often you feel it's something you can only do on your own. However, study groups can be an amazingly helpful way to learn and by staying social and getting you out of the house. Even just meeting up to chill out is a good idea – there can be a life outside of exams!
Celebrating the end of teaching with the public health lot.
Remember that health is not just exercising and eating right. During these intense study periods levels of stress are higher and we have a tendency to stop looking after ourselves in favour of just getting work done. However, this doesn't necessarily work, as the less healthy you are the less productive you are.
I will definitely be trying these four tips for staying healthy, and hopefully these ideas inspire you to find your own ways of staying healthy to ensure the most successful exam season possible.