A bar studier wrote to me after reading my blog post on anxiety and the need to find professional help. However, she was in the situation so many of you may be in where you wish you could afford to get professional help, but financially it is impractical. What can you do?
Here are a few lower cost options that may help you cope with anxiety and fear and get mentally ready for the exam.
(1) Meditation: Did you know that I think meditation can help you prepare for the bar exam? This is definitely one of the most cost-effective ways of coping with stress because all it takes is some time. Not sure where to get started? There are a number of iPhone apps that can help. Here is a good quick guide to get you started.
(2) Breathing: This is something we do every day, but often we don’t really think about it (and thus do it poorly!). Did you know that deep breathing can actually reduce your stress? Here are some tips for using the breath to make you feel better.
(3) Yoga/Exercise: Turns out yoga and exercise can really help with stress and anxiety. I personally exercised quite a bit during my bar prep, and I know Alison did quite a bit of yoga (for cost-conscious options, many yoga studios offer a discounted rate for the first month of classes). I now practice yoga regularly and it really helps me feel more relaxed and balanced. It is amazing how standing on your head can change how you feel about your day. (Warning: Don’t do headstands without supervision and someone showing you how or you could hurt yourself and that would be incredibly bad for you and your bar prep.) If yoga isn’t for you, what other kind of exercise could you try to move your body? Since so much of bar study requires staying inside, I recommend doing something outside. Soak up some vitamin D and breathe the fresh air.
(4) Books/Courses/Podcasts: Here is another resource you can check out that will be easy on your pocketbook.
- Bar Exam Mind: You can purchase the book, which has many specific tips (you can read my review here), or look at the blog or podcast for free tips.
Have any other resources that have worked for you? Share them in the comments!
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Check out these helpful posts:
- Tips on what to do after you find out you failed the bar exam.
- Coming Back After a Bar Exam Failure — Gearing Up to Study Again.
- Many students wonder if a bar failure means that they won’t become a great lawyer. It doesn’t!
- Tips on whether or not you should take the next bar offered or take a break.
- Although it may sound like a great idea at first, things you should consider before deciding to take a different jurisdiction’s bar exam.