Destress During Bar Prep

How To Consistently Destress During Bar Prep

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably interested in learning how previous bar exam takers ‘destressed’ during bar prep. Below are some ideas that you can incorporate into your daily routine to make this period of your life as pleasant as possible. It is possible to destress during bar prep. Read further to see how!

How To Consistently Destress During Bar Prep

Morning Routine

Wake up and do about five minutes of stretches to get your blood flowing. Practice mindful eating and truly focus on how to fuel your brain. Looking at food as fuel rather than a treat was helpful to me. For breakfast, I would eat things like scrambled eggs, toast, bananas, whole-grain cold cereal, oatmeal, and fruit and yogurt smoothies. I would also keep a glass of water near me at all times throughout the day to prevent dehydration. If you like coffee, enjoy a cup or two.

I would alternate my study locations throughout my home and outdoors. I would usually perform certain study tasks in certain areas. For example, I would write my practice essays in the morning. I would sit at my patio table and get some early morning sun—which made me enjoy the summer a little more. In fact, sitting in the sun made me feel like I was enjoying my summer more than I otherwise would at a job. I would usually lay on my couch when doing MBE practice questions as these would exhaust me. Besides for essays and MBE questions, I would do most of my studying sitting at my desk—but I would make my desk inviting. I would light a candle, make sure my desk was organized, and usually have my dog cuddle at my feet. A great way to destress is to create an inviting space for yourself.

Afternoon Routine 

Take one hour for lunch. Go for at least a half-hour walk. Prepare a healthy lunch consisting of leafy greens or a green vegetable, a lean protein, and a carb. A salad with protein, wrap, sandwich, or soup are great options. I used to make a half pot of coffee in the morning and in the afternoon, I would make an iced coffee.

At some point during the afternoon, perform an ‘at-home’ workout. As I said earlier, I got into the best shape of my life during bar prep. I attribute that to setting an excellent wellness routine.

Another great option for destressing was yoga. I would go every Friday morning and it was something to look forward to and a non-food treat. Additionally, it’s good for your body to counteract all the sitting and slouching you might be doing while studying.

Evening Routine

I would usually have a ‘cut-off’ time of 6pm. Some nights I would study later, especially on Fridays if I knew I had a social event on Saturday. I would enjoy a healthy dinner with my husband and take another half hour walk. I would respond to texts, emails, and calls. Sometimes, I would just go to bed around 8pm. Other times, I would watch one episode of television and enjoy a glass of wine.  I tried to limit alcohol while prepping for the bar as I didn’t want to be fuzzy the next day. My mindset was fueling my body, getting enough exercise, and creating comforting spaces for myself so that I could still enjoy my summer.

Prevent Distractions

One of the best things I did to avoid distractions was to put my phone in another room while studying! Eliminate the need to check emails, texts, social media, and calls altogether. You can let those who call or text you most know that this is what you’ll be doing ahead of time so they don’t worry when they can’t get ahold of you.

For me, that was my mom and my sister—who were more than happy to hear of my plan. Your family might be unsure of how best to support you during your bar prep so it’s helpful to let them know of your plan and let them know what changes you’ll be making to your normal routine (i.e., you may be available to hang out with them on either a morning or afternoon on Saturday or Sunday, but not both). The time you spend studying will be so much more productive and of a higher quality when you eliminate distractions.

Working During Bar Prep

You may feel stressed during bar prep because you feel there aren’t enough hours in the day for you to master the materials. You may sit at your desk for 12 hours, only to get 6 hours’ worth of studying in because let’s face it, online shopping is more fun and less work than memorizing rule statements. These are both awful feelings. Instead, treat bar prep like a job. Put in solid work during normal working hours and then in the evening, close the books and relax.

If you are working during bar prep, inquire about reducing your hours. If you are working at a law firm, your employer should understand that you need the extra time to study. I think I worked about 15 hours a week. There was something to be said about getting dressed in the morning and having a little bit of socialization at work to balance my mental state.

Allow yourself to relax with the knowledge that you are devoting uninterrupted time and energy to studying. Fuel your body with nutritious foods, amp up your exercise routine and get enough sleep. You will probably be home way more than you usually are but resist the urge to comfort yourself with food or to get lazy. Try to reassure yourself that by following your bar prep company’s study schedule, you are setting yourself up for success.

We hope these tips to destress during bar prep are helpful!

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