If you are preparing for an entrance exam, there will be some days where you can study non-stop and do really, really well. Some days, of course, are average. You start the day with a bang, and then energy dwindles as the end starts ending. 

And some days are low days.

Days when you just cannot get off the bed. Days when you just do not want to start studying.

How to handle days you feel low

How can you, as entrance exam aspirants, handle such days? Let’s take a look into this very pertinent matter. 

  1. Don’t feel guilty

Students preparing for entrance exams are often put into a guilty spot if they even take a break, let alone not feel like studying the whole day. But guilt is not only unhealthy, but the most unproductive spiral you can get into. So firstly, stop feeling guilty about not wanting to study, and get into problem solving mode.

  1. Self-reflect and Recognise the Reason

When you are having a low day, it’s very important to listen to your mind and body and find out why. So firstly, just stop pushing yourself and lie down quietly and think, ‘Why am I feeling this way?”. It could be a variety of reasons like:

  1. You did not sleep well
  2. You have not eaten well and are low on energy
  3. Your body is unwell
  4. You are pushing yourself to do something you don’t want to. There is a passion and effort mismatch.
  5. Something other than studies is bothering you. It could be family issues, financial issues, relationship issues. Anything.
  6. You just need a break
  7. It is just one of those days. You are just generally feeling low.

3) Solve

Now that you have recognised the reason for why you are feeling so low, now is the time to think if you can solve it. Corresponding to the list of probable reasons we discussed above, here are some things you could do:

  1. Sleep it out: Sleep a little more and wake up more refreshed. You could also have some coffee or tea if that wakes you up. Or get up and move around. Work out a little to shake your body awake.
  2. Eat up: Eating well is extremely important. You must at least give the day a try and have a good, healthy and quick breakfast. Here are some brain-boosting foods you could try.
  3. Body Scan: If you are feeling unwell, try a small meditation exercise. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Now focus on each part of your body one by one and try to understand where the unease is. Which part of your body is not feeling healthy? A lot of times, students who study a lot face bodyache due to an improper posture while studying. In case that is what you also face, you must read these posture do’s and don’ts.
  4. Reevaluate your passion: In case you feel low a lot of times, and don’t feel like studying, perhaps there is a mismatch between what you are preparing for and what you really want to do? Maybe you don’t feel the passion to prepare because you are not following your dream. If you suspect that is the case, then try the Ikigai framework to evaluate your career choice and see if you are indeed on the right track.  
  5. Face your troubles: Sometimes issues other than your studies and yourself may be bothering you. In such cases, it would be best to take out an hour and talk to someone you trust. If you feel this is something very serious, and something you cannot handle by yourself, perhaps consider seeking professional help as well. And sometimes, these things are just out of control and it is best to let time heal the pain. In that case, just take some time off and pamper yourself a bit doing your favourite thing.
  6. Take a break: There are students who study everyday and are able to give their best every hour of their prep time. These students, trust us, are a myth. They do not exist. So on days you feel like you need to take a break, well, take a break. It is natural for you to feel so. Just do whatever you want to do and make sure you enjoy yourself to the fullest so that you are totally refreshed for the next day’s prep. Do give yourself a break once a week. If it is more than that, make sure you overstudy the rest of the days and meet your target.  
  7. Let it go: Just like the mind needing a break, there also days when you just feel low. For absolutely no reason at all. It’s okay. It is just a phase. Accept that you are in that mood today and let your mind and body do whatever they want to do to feel better. Just make sure you maintain a list of such low days in a diary or your smartphone. If you feel you have been feeling low for a long time, or too frequently, please discuss with your family, friends or even a counsellor. 

Tips to break free of low-mode

In case you have done the steps above and are feeling a little better, here are some tips to break out of your low-mode and give the day another go:

  1. Exercise!: Exercise boosts the production of the happy hormone serotonin in your body and makes you feel better. So workout, walk or even dance!
  2. Go out in nature: Go out for sometime and explore the world. Especially being in nature has been scientifically proven to boost your mood.  The sunlight also increases our Vitamin D production and improves mental wellness. 
  3. Listen to music: Studies have shown that listening to music has a positive effect on one’s mood. Time to listen to some beats!
  4. Eat carbs with proteins: Have a snack containing some complex carbohydrates and proteins (Like a whote wheat sandwich, roll, salad or energy bar). These boost production of tryptophan in your body, which is then converted into happy hormone Serotonin.
  5. Do what makes you smile: And most simply, just do what makes you smile. It could be talking to friends or family, watching a funny TV show or reading a book. Just do what makes you happy and give yourself a break.

That’s it! I really, really, really hope this article helps you handle low days. Just remember that the most important part of this article is to not feel guilty about being low and not wanting to study on a particular day. What is more important is to understand why you are feeling so and make sure you find a solution to it.

Just remember, no matter which exam you are preparing for, the most important thing in life for you and all those around you is your wellbeing.