One thing repeated in all the prep materials I've come across so far is a piece of pat advice: Don't get too stressed out. "Anxiety" neared #1 in the Top Ten Reasons People Don't Pass The Test list at a recent AATBS workshop. One of that company's CDs has a guided imagery--picture your resistance to the test as a ball in your chest; now bring it up and blow it out. (Go ahead, this will keep.)
Like you, probably, I had no hours in the day as it was. Now adding all this time studying (plus, ridiculously, blogging) has neatly removed most fun/calming/soothing/anxiety-reducing activity from each day. Didn't even get to my regular commute-easing political blogs last week (strong recs: Left, Right and Center; Slate Gabfest; The Bugle), instead dutifully filling my automotive hour with company prep discs and The Social Work Podcast. Helpful, but not exactly a lot of laffs.
What has worked in the past? Me, I like baths. Mindful ones--noticing the dry and the wet, the sloshing sounds, the drip of water traveling down the tile, etc. And here's why I got started with that: I read some Jon Kabat-Zinn, used his meditation CDs. Mindfulness. All good, all recommended for slowing down the day here in test-prep time and, since this will all be over some day, for those balmy LCSW days in the future. Can't hurt:
Wherever You Go, There You Are (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
Guided Mindfulness Meditation (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
This is good self-care and works with clients, too. Five stars on the non-existent Social Work Test Prep Blog rating scale. Do check them out.
January 12, 2009