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Managing LSAT Stress with Self-Care


Studying for the LSAT is like getting ready for an athletic event. To perform at your best, your body and mind need to be sharp. Here are some tips from a veteran LSAT instructor.

1. Get enough sleep

Nothing is more important. You need to sleep or else all sorts of things will go wrong with your body and ability to learn. Lack of sleep negatively affects your intelligence. Trump will still be putting his foot in his mouth after the LSAT. Your Instagram isn’t going anywhere. Your friends will live without your likes for a couple of months. So get your seven to nine hours of sleep. No excuses. Or as our President would say, “не делают никаких оправданий.”

2. Exercise a bit

Exercise can suck, especially if you haven’t done any in a long time. So start off slow, and then build up. A bit of cardio, whether on the treadmill or with your kettlebells, can do wonders for your mood and your ability to get through a long day of LSAT questions.

Personally, I like to do interval sprints. Sprint for one minute on the treadmill, walk for one minute. Repeat 5 to 7 times. You’re out of the gym faster than most people take to warm up, and the benefits are scientifically supported.

3. Eat like you want to live long enough to take the LSAT

Overeating or eating junk can get in the way of your studying. The time you spend wallowing in a food coma is not productive time. So try to eat better. Add more greens and healthy fats to your meals if you’re having trouble staying full while eating clean. If you’re a stress eater, grab some baby carrots or other raw foods like broccoli or edamame.

4. Have a plan for dealing with stressful days

You’ll probably bomb a practice test. Your professor won’t get back to you about your recommendation letter. Your LSAT test center visit will horrify you. Your mom will ask if you’re applying to Yale or just Harvard. The point is, things will pop up that will irritate and stress you out. So you need a plan to deal with the stress.

Instead of plowing yourself into four seasons of Locked Up Abroad on Netflix to shut out the outside world for a day or two, try something more efficient. Call a friend and complain for 10 to 15 minutes. Go do your cardio for the day. Walk to the dog park and creep on some stranger’s dog until it lets you pet it. You know what works for you.

5. Don’t think about worst-case scenarios

Look, if you’re putting in the time with your LSAT prep—meaning you’re going to class, you’re doing your homework, or you’re otherwise keeping up with a reasonable study plan—thinking about worst-case scenarios is completely unproductive. If you’re putting in the work, you don’t need to motivate yourself with horrific predictions about canceled scores and safety schools. You’d do better by expecting the best. So be positive (if you’re working hard).

That’s it. Instead of scheduling an appointment with a hypnotist or trying to calculate the lowest LSAT score you can get to get into XYZ School of Law, just do these simple little things for yourself and you’ll have the best chance to do well on the LSAT.

Good luck!