Law school is finally over! That means bar prep season is right around the corner. Take a minute to reflect and realize that you have already accomplished the daunting task of successfully completing law school. Hold on to that same sense of pride and accomplishment to give you the confidence you may need to get through your next formidable task: the bar exam.
Although it’s just the beginning of the summer, the exam is closer than you think. Creating and maintaining a wellness routine now will help you optimize your studying while maintaining your emotional well-being. After all, it’s been proven that a calm brain will retain more information than a stressed-out brain!
Even just thinking about where to begin can be overwhelming. Hearing stories from your friends and colleagues about their experiences can be enough to cause anxiety before you’ve even begun. With all the pressure surrounding this exam, it’s easy to let your health and wellness routine become a low priority. However, following a structured routine that emphasizes self-care will prove that studying for the bar does not have to be a two-month-long ordeal filled with sleepless nights.
The bar exam can be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. That is why it is more important than ever to prioritize your health and wellness. Heavy amounts of stress can often lead to insomnia, irritability, negative thinking, and self-doubt. As such, staying healthy and balanced will help you retain more information and concentrate on your studies.
How should you go about creating a wellness routine? For starters, it is extremely helpful to create a written or digital bar prep schedule for each day, week, and month. Buy a planner or a whiteboard. Tape your schedule up on your fridge, or add it to the calendar in your cell phone. Do whatever it takes.
What should you put in your schedule? Be sure to include both study and non-study activities. Schedule time to read your outlines, time to attend class or watch your lectures, time to do practice questions and essays, and time to review. Once you have your study schedule down, it will help to schedule your non-study activities around it. Set a time to wake up every day and a time to go to bed. Add in times for meals and snacks, physical activities such as exercise, and leisure time to do what you love (read a book for fun, watch a movie, see friends — especially those that fill your life with positivity).
Some of you may be thinking that you won’t have time to read books for fun or watch movies during bar prep. However, at this point in your legal studies, you ought to know how many hours you can study productively. Adding in breaks and leisure activities that will help you blow off steam will ultimately make you more productive.
The good news is, most of you are already more prepared for studying than you know. Whether you just finished law school or have been out of school and working for a while, you are probably already used to balancing a busy schedule with several hours of mentally taxing activities. You know under what conditions and environment you work best in, and you know what time of the day you’re at your best for studying.
If you know something works, don’t change it! Work under the conditions that suit you best. Make sure to distribute your work evenly, pace yourself, and most importantly, review and test yourself regularly. Those small breaks will help with memory retention and burn out!
Don’t forget that using AdaptiBar can help you here too! AdaptiBar can help you by showing you which areas you can spend less time on and which areas you need to study more in depth. If you create a structured and realistic study plan and use AdaptiBar, you will likely have time for fun activities that will help your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Happy, rested brains absorb and retain more information!