7 tips to survive the stress of exam season

Any student who has pored over textbooks and memorised notes into the small hours knows the stress of exam time.

There’s often a huge amount of pressure to do well, so it’s no wonder many students feel burnt out, stressed, and exhausted during this time of year.

As much as it’s important to work hard at school or university, it’s also important to look after your mental wellbeing.

Here are some tips for coping with exam stress.

1. Don’t neglect exercise

Exercise is a fantastic stress relief tool and it can also help to keep your energy levels up when you’re starting to feel worn out. Plus, a stint of exercise is a great way to clear your head so you can focus on your next set of notes or the next exam. Whether you love to run, take a spin class at the gym, or hike through nature, any form of exercise can be a huge help.

Whether you love to run, take a spin class at the gym, or hike through nature, any form of exercise can be a huge help.

2. Go to bed on time

University students are famous for pulling ‘all-nighters’ in order to cram in a few more notes.

However, waking up after a few hours of sleep and trying to sit an exam can be extremely difficult, as tiredness can take a real toll on your concentration.

Make sure you start studying early enough so that an all-nighter isn’t your only chance of learning the notes.

If you have trouble falling asleep, a magnesium supplement might help – ask your pharmacist for more information. Magnesium may also help to relieve stress.

3. Eat as well as you can

If you need a stick of wine gums to help you read through those endless notes, go for it. But don’t forget to eat a balanced diet to give your brain and body what it needs to physically manage the draining effects of stress and study.

Add fruit, veggies, and nuts to your list of snacks during study time and make sure you’re getting plenty of nutrition such as protein and vitamins during meals.

4. Give yourself a break

Even the greatest minds cannot sit at a study table 12 hours per day.

Plan breaks – and stick to them. This will give your brain a moment of rest and time to relax and soak in all the information.

Spend this time doing anything that you enjoy, from catching up on a podcast or grabbing a coffee with friends, to switching out the lights and taking a nap.

5. Meditate for a moment

Being mindful and meditating are simple ways to help calm a frazzled mind.

Close the books, close your eyes, breathe naturally, and focus purely on how your body feels as you breathe. Stay in this calm state for as long as you can without letting your mind wander.

This task can take you away from the craziness of exam time and simply give you a chance to relax.

6. Minimise your caffeine intake

Energy drinks and coffee are popular options for making it through a study schedule, but they can do more harm than good. One or two caffeinated drinks may help to perk you up, but too much can lead you to feel even more agitated than before.

Always keep a bottle of water on hand, and when you need something different, opt for a natural fruit juice or a cup of herbal tea instead.

7. Keep in touch with friends

Nobody knows what you’re going through quite like other students, so when you’re feeling stressed, call a friend.

Knowing that others are dealing with the same anxiety and nervousness will at least remind you that you’re not alone in these feelings, and that you can chat to each other to get it off your chest.

Good luck with your exams and look after yourself!

Disclamer: This content is for informational purposes only and should not substitute advice from your healthcare professional. If symptoms persist or you require specialist advice, please consult your healthcare professional.

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