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Help: Burnout & Anxiety 5 days before LSAT

hillsharitahillsharita Alum Member
edited October 2021 in General 14 karma

Hey guys, so my LSAT is in 5 days and ever since I hit the one week mark, my brain and body have been on a downward spiral. It feels like my anxiety meds have just stopped working.

For background, I have an anxiety disorder that makes me prone to consistent panic attacks, and while I’ve been doing well on all my prep & am only a point below where I want to be on test day, but I can’t stop the panic from taking over and making me not want to look at a single LSAT question.

I’ve tried to work through it and ignore it, but the stress is making me feel sick and disoriented to the point where I keep getting things wrong that I would’ve gotten correct a few days ago, making me panic more.

I’m really worried that this is going to ruin my LSAT, and this is my last chance to take it. I keep trying to calm down and breathe & tell myself that logically, it’ll all be okay, but anyone with an anxiety disorder can tell you that your body often ignores your brain.

I would really appreciate it if anyone else with similar experiences could give advice. Without getting too much into it, I have a lot riding on me doing well and the thought of feeling like this on test day makes me sick with worry.

Comments

  • kvitka22kvitka22 Alum Member
    257 karma

    I hear you- I have bad test anxiety and it started to spike this week for me too. A few things that help me is meditating- I struggle with falling asleep at night so I try to meditate every evening. I also try to stretch every morning. I limit my caffeine intake to one coffee a day because I get a little jittery after. I'm also taking the day off before the exam to decompress so I go into the exam with a clear mind. And remind yourself that you studied and prepared for this exam. You've got this! At the end of the day the LSAT is just an exam and whatever happens you will be ok. This exam does not define you (I have to remind myself of this constantly). I also try to remind myself that showing up and taking the exam is amazing of itself. You should be proud of yourself for even showing up and doing this. And remember to breathe- stopping for 10 seconds and breathing works wonders. Wishing you the best for your exam, you've got this!

  • ledkarlyledkarly Alum Member
    483 karma

    Hi!

    I dont deal with anxiety disorder, so Im not sure how much help this will be but - I recommend you going through the core curriculum or any books that you have used throughout your prep. I am taking the test this Saturday and I plan on reading my notes that I made for the loophole textbook because I want to refresh my memory. Do things and questions that you are very comfortable with.

    I dont recommend doing new PTs because that may affect your confidence, thus increase your anxiety.

    Also remember that you dont HAVE to write the test, you WANT to. If we tell ourselves that we HAVE to do something, our brain thinks that it is life or death, which increases your anxiety. at the end of the test, you won't die, you'll go on with your life. It is only 2 hours of your day and whatever happens will happen. You have been studying for months and know what you are expecting, and the real thing won't be much different. Remind yourself that after the test you will close your laptop and will go on with your day like any other regular day. At least this is what I have been telling myself, and it has honestly helped so so much.

  • sryu18142-1-1-1-1-1sryu18142-1-1-1-1-1 Monthly Member
    55 karma

    My advice would be: don’t try too hard. Don’t think about it too much. Your anxiety is a sign that you care! And by showing that you care, you have proven to yourself that you would commit to the world of LSAT. And your achievement is a testament to that. Even if you want to, your effort so far wouldn’t just disappear. Even if you wanted to, skills you honed and refined wouldn’t betray you in the day of the exam. Take a deep breath and take a walk! Maybe get a frozen yogurt.

  • puffinbdpuffinbd Yearly Member
    43 karma

    I think alot of it comes down to the pressure you're putting on yourself. I don't know your particular situation but I've been in a similar boat where I've felt like this was my last chance, i NEED to do well on this or else x, y, z, and the best advice I can give you is that in the worst case scenario that you don't get the score of your dreams, the world won't crash around you. You'll still be alive, still be capable, and still be determined to get to the law school you want. Sometimes we focus way too much on having our plans go exactly the way we want, but the reality of life is they rarely do and the sooner we accept that its okay for things to be different than what we'd like, it's okay to be disappointed, its okay to not get the exact score you want, you can and will figure things out, the sooner you can live better and with more peace in mind. This goes beyond the lsat or law school because there will always be a new thing to focus and stress yourself on, it won't go away just because you get a good score because your worry may shift to something else, like tests in law school and internships, etc. Being scared of your mind and body failing you when you need it the most is a terrifying place to be, but also one that can be alleviated when you remember you're not in a war with yourself even if that's what your mind wants you to think. The only one that can get you through this test is yourself, you gotta to remember to be kind to your body and mind even when it feels like it's trying to sabotage you because it rarely is.

  • yunonsieyunonsie Alum Member
    611 karma

    Can you focus more on your health and wellness? Limiting your caffeine/ sugar intake, getting enough quality sleep, eating consistently/ nutritiously, cleaning up your space if you can...? It becomes very easy to forget yourself while you're getting ready for this test, and hopefully at least some of these things can get you just feeling a bit better first.

  • IputtheLinLsatIputtheLinLsat Alum Member
    10 karma

    As someone who tries to ignore what they're feeling and just keep pushing through, it could be good to give yourself some space to acknowledge the craziness going on. Be ok with the anxiety, the nerves, the lack of desire to even look at LSAT questions at the moment. Let those feelings in for a bit. Stare them in the face so to speak. But allow them to move on. The anxiety and panic is an opportunity for greater triumph. In spite of these seemingly impossible obstacles, you'll kill it on test day. You'll get that goal score in spite of the things that seem to only hold you back. It's a big weekend for a lot of us. But it's also the first step in what's going to be a wild/fun ride through law school. Hope this (or something else if not this!) helps.

  • LEKPK222LEKPK222 Alum Member
    edited October 2021 46 karma

    I also have a history of anxiety/panic attacks and even though I take stuff for it, I try to stay ahead of it so that it doesn't overwhelm me. I'll bet, that you've been working your butt off, and any gains to be made in these last couple days really won't override you taking care of yourself. You're as prepared as you're going to be, and it might be fair to say don't spend much time at all practicing/drilling these next few days. I've been tapering off of it, too, and taking some nice outdoor walks, and even a really hard afternoon workout to blow off some steam! I have been cutting off the studying early, or whenever my brain turns to mush, eating a good dinner, watching mindless Seinfeld (now that it's on Netflix!) and getting a good night's sleep. I feel like that's the best stuff you can do right now! Trust that you've made the strides that you need to, and that it will all work out. :)

  • lsat_suslsat_sus Alum Member
    1417 karma

    Listen to "Where's My Juul" - it's a song that encapsulates rage and it helps release anger and just every other emotion vicariously. It's kind of a scary song though. Then just take that mother fooker

  • SunnyCanSunnyCan Monthly Member
    24 karma

    I'm taking the LSAT on Saturday too. I'm not trying to get into a top school or even get a top score. But seeing other people's comments about getting a 175+ stress me TF OUT. I put added pressure on myself, and it's making the anxiety build. I'm neurodivergent as well, and what I've been doing to calm myself down is journal and remind myself of a few things...
    This is my first time taking the test, and if I don't get a score that I want, I'll just do better next time. This is a practice run!
    Being anxious and worrying about it is not going to make my score any better. Being well-rested and confident is what is going to make my score better.
    And I am a smart and kind person! I know what characteristics of mine matter to me, and a test score isn't going to change those things.
    Trust your instincts. Get your rest. Lean on friends and family. The vision and the goal would not have come to you if it wasn't meant for you. You got this. You are Michael Jordan. :wink:

  • mattwhitworth56mattwhitworth56 Alum Member
    316 karma

    I'm sorry to hear that that's so frustrating. I've been dealing w a lot of anxiety even just prepping so I understand. I'd say just remind yourself that you aren't going to bomb it and you are going to be right around where you have been pting! Is there a chance the anxiety makes you rush or misread something and maybe you end up scoring a point or two lower than you're capable? That's possible, but you won't suddenly forget everything. You've got this! Next couple days, if I was in your shoes, I'd just focus on relaxing, breathing exercises, stuff like that. Good luck!

  • SS.SitkaSS.Sitka Alum Member
    100 karma

    When I get anxiety one of the only things that helps is exercise. Lot's of sleep! Good luck! You got this!

  • RachelZane-180RachelZane-180 Monthly Member
    21 karma

    I suffer from anxiety as well and am also taking the test tomorrow. I have pretty much shut down the past two weeks to cope and not allow myself to get overwhelmed, but the procrastination and fact that I haven't been studying makes me overwhelmed. It's a cycle. My advice is that, what someone said above, notice the pressure you put on yourself. Once you realize this is not life or death and that you only can try your best, it helps. Mindset. Good luck and be kind to yourself.

  • genfuk123genfuk123 Alum Member
    10 karma

    I also have anxiety and just took the test yesterday— I found that simulating the exact environment I usually take my PTs in and having a dance party for 30mins before the test really helped (I’ve been dancing almost every day for the past week whenever I start thinking about the test in an unproductive way)!

    Keeping myself busy and not being alone with my thoughts right before the test really helped me avoid psyching myself out

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