How not to feel guilty for breaking?

  1. I have been studying all week. I studied for five hours straight yesterday and from 8- 1 today. I feel like I have run out of steam. I had to stop because I felt like it was all going in one ear and out the other. I have been trying to stay ahead and then get "on schedule" around tests. I mostly have the reading for next week done, minus one chapter (six in all) and the following few days I read this weeks chapters because I got "behind" from studying what was going to be on the test I had Monday.

    Some times I feel like I have studied forever and have nothing done.

    Today I feel guilty from stopping my studying (taking notes on what I read) and will probably go back to it later, but the guilt when I am not doing school work kills me. I want to relax. How do you do it?
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    About HeartsOpenWide

    Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 3,067; Likes: 2,036
    "Birth Center" Staff Nurse; from US
    Specialty: Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne

    12 Comments

  3. by   colleennurse
    You NEED to take time for yourself. If you don't it will catch up with you and it will back fire. Maybe instead of studying for 5 hours straight, study for an hour or two (after that I can't imagine you are really learning anything), take a break for an hour or so to relax, watch a show, or whatever you like to do, then go back to the books. I used to make myself do a couple hours every day. And I did something I wanted to everyday too, even if it was watching tv.
  4. by   adamsmom
    I know exacly what you mean. I work nite shift on the weekends and I have 2 young kids. I also have a big test on Tues, and when I am not reading my notes or book I think "since I am not spending every free minute studing am I going to fail this test? the only thing that helps is I talk to other student in my same boat and ask them what do you plan on studing they say the notes mostly so that is what I do. I read the notes over and over and over but still feel like I am afriad it will not be enough. I do not think it is good to study 5 straight hours. After awhile I find my mind stops absorbing and that means I need a break.
    Good luck if you find a way to stop feeling quilty please let me know.
  5. by   locolorenzo22
    I do a little studying, then I decide that I deserve a break, put on a CD or watch TV for 30min to 1 hour, then go back to it. Tonight, I'm doing some extra work, then going to a movie with friends. I deserve it for cleaning, doing laundry, and just maintaining my apartment!
  6. by   Tweety
    Five hours in a row today is engouh and you deserve a break.

    I'm taking the entire day off today from studying.........guilt free! (Of course I'm not in nursing school.)
  7. by   Achoo!
    I studied for 2 exams, then decided to clean out my sos closet and toybox. It took me an hour and a half. Anything to get away form studying for a while! LOL

    I'll read more tonight after the kids go to bed.
  8. by   BoonersmomRN
    When I feel like I need a break- I take a break.

    One thing NS has taught me is that I need to take care of ME first.

    I wouldn't retain anything either if I sat and studied for 5 hours straight. Heck, I am lucky to make it 1 hour w/out needing a break. So, I take it, and then get back to business. Some breaks are 15 mins...some are an hour...heck I have even breaked for DAYS.

    You're human.....remember that

    BTW....your're 1rst semester aren;t you? I was like you 1rst semester....for about 1/2 of it. Im now 1/2 way through 2nd semester and ahhhhh...so not that same student and I am still pulling A's...how do I let the guilt go? Hahaha...no seriously....I just did. I let go of all the needs to be perfect as soon as I realized I AM human..
    Last edit by BoonersmomRN on Oct 22, '06
  9. by   DanaR85
    I used to feel the exact same way that you did; if I wasn't in class/clinical, then I felt like I had to be studying and if I wasn't, I was doing something wrong. And yes, I did well on my exams, but after a few classes it just became too much. There is already so much pressure built into nursing school that you don't need to pile more on yourself.

    As with most things, studying should be about quality, not quantity. For me, I can go 1-2 hours max before I need to take a little break. Doing something else, even for just a few minutes can help you unwind and clear your mind a little bit.

    What helps me is to make sort of a "study schedule." Based on when the exam is, and how much information will be on it, I decide ahead of time what topics I will study and really get down pat that day. It helps me not to get overwhelmed. Also, it helps with the guilty feeling of not getting enough done, since you accomplished all that you set out to do.

    We are not machines and we cannot just go on autopilot for hours and hours at a time. It's not healthy and will only lead to burnout and your hating nursing school. Taking care of yourself and giving yourself time to breathe is never anything to feel guilty about. Good luck with studying!
  10. by   BSNtobe2009
    An adult brain is at optimum retention for 50 minutes at a time, retention rates start to decline rapidly after that. Even if it's just getting up and getting something to drink. Surfing the internet for 5 or 10 minutes...anything to get that mental "break"..your retention will definately increase when doing those marathon study sessions.
  11. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Don't feel guilty. I went to the fair the Saturday before my Monday psych test. I had fun and I studied on and on all day Sunday and part of Monday morning and I still got a 90.

    I wouldn't do that for Adult Health/Med surg though, unless I had studied hard the two weeks prior.


    When I get sick of studying, I just stop. I usually reach a point where I know I have retained enough infomation to pass and then some.
  12. by   Glimmer
    I agree with above when they say you have to take time for yourself. I know that isnt easy because I am there with you. But, from personal experience, if you dont then you will snap. I did. I had a test 2 weeks ago that I studied and studied and studied for. I am not one to put off my readings and stuff but I just felt like I was missing everything. I also knew I had to make an outstanding grade on this one because I didnt do so hot on the first test. Skip to the end... I got an 80% on it. Not horrible... but I knew so much more than that. I made careless errors because I knew the material and everything else in the world... not to mention I had done that last minute cramming thing because I felt like I didnt pay enough attention to one area. I was TICKED to put it nicely. I got home, and sadly, took it out on anything and everything around me. Certainly not a healthy way to cope with stress. What did it boil down to? I had been spending way too much time with my nose in the book or outlining, etc and I had done nothing just for myself. I now make it a point to take time away for myself with no books, etc. I also found that keeping a blog helps me. I have it limited to who can see it, etc... but just putting my feelings down and venting my frustrations helps me worlds. Not to mention it is my way of getting away from school work for 15 mins (but still not being total out of the school mindset) and then refocusing to move forward.

    Don't feel guilty. You have spent plenty of time with that book... not to mention it is proven that if you study for extremely long periods of time the material really doesnt sink in. It is better to work in shorter, but more frequent, intervals. You cant put yourself into overload!

    Alnee
    Struggling first year!
  13. by   cschmill
    you shouldn't feel guilty for breaking, you can only study for so long before the words on the page become a blur.
    i was the same way though. i spent the first semester doing nothing but studying in the evenings, and i was miserable. you have to take time for yourself.
    i now study for a good hour or two and then put the books away. i've actually found that i retain the info better and still get A's on my tests.
    and i'm a lot happier, i can actually still have a life and make it in school.
  14. by   Halinja
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    An adult brain is at optimum retention for 50 minutes at a time, retention rates start to decline rapidly after that. Even if it's just getting up and getting something to drink. Surfing the internet for 5 or 10 minutes...anything to get that mental "break"..your retention will definately increase when doing those marathon study sessions.
    Yes!!! Now, that's evidence based practice! Have seen the same information in several places. Your mind really can't just keep going at top performance for five hours straight. Won't, can't happen. 50 minutes...tops.

    Grin, my house is never so clean as when there's a test coming or a paper that needs written.

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