Preparing for the NCLEX is stressful. You have come so far already in finishing nursing school and this test is the key to getting your license and finally achieving your goal of becoming a nurse. But, if you aren’t careful, preparing for the test can leave you feeling burned out, unmotivated, and lacking the confidence you need to do your best on test day. Don’t let test prep get in your way! Here is how to avoid NCLEX prep burnout so you can study strong and pass the test.
Plans Are Important
In order to get a feel for test prep and avoid NCLEX prep burnout, you need to plan for your studying. Grab that calendar and look at how long you have before test day. Next, you will need to explore your test preparation options. Do you want a structured review class? Do you plan to use web-based testing resources or do you think you will do better purchasing a book or e-book for more self-guided study? Once you have decided how you want to proceed, it is time to get all of your materials and get started. Taking the time to properly plan for test prep can help you avoid NCLEX prep burnout by structuring your study times so you know what to expect.
A Little Bit Every Day
Trying to prep too much will lead to burnout in a hurry! Set aside an hour or two each day for test prep. When that time has come and gone, put the books away and let it go (feel free to sing the song if it helps). The amount of reading and practice questions can make your head spin. By taking on a little bit every day, you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Another way to break your studies down is to plan to study one major test content area each week or every few days. This strategy allows you master each content area as you go, building your confidence along the way. This can help you avoid NCLEX prep burnout as you solidify your knowledge a bit each day.
If you have chosen a test prep provider, they often break the content into smaller, more manageable study sections. Stick to the plan and don’t fall behind or try to work ahead. They have organized the content and study activities for your benefit. Do yourself a favor and follow the plan to avoid NCLEX prep burnout.
Eat Right and Exercise
For most of us, NCLEX prep is something we are doing along with about a million other things. We are working, tending to kids and families, keeping the house clean, volunteering, and trying to maintain some kind of social life among many other responsibilities. You can avoid NCLEX prep burnout by making sure you are taking care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet and make sure to get some regular exercise. It doesn’t take much. Just a 5-minute walk a few times a day will help relieve your stress and improve your mood.
While comfort foods are going to seem like a great idea, keep in mind that foods high in sugar can cause you to crash and feel foggy. Heavy, fatty meals can leave you feeling more like napping than studying. Try to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and while you are at it, drink some water too. Even mild dehydration can mess with your ability to focus and retain information.
Change It Up
Sometimes what we need to avoid NCLEX prep burnout is a change of scenery. Been studying at your desk for hours? Why not head to the library or a local coffee shop? The change of venue can stimulate your brain and help you relax and get refocused on the task at hand. Don’t be afraid to head outside! Grab a blanket and head to your favorite park. A little fresh air and sunlight can brighten your mood and get you motivated to keep your studies on track. You will feel reenergized and accomplished in no time!
Preparing for the NCLEX is tough. However, these strategies can help you avoid NCLEX prep burnout and keep you studying strong all the way to test day. Happy Studying!