Exam season is well and truly upon us. The period of cramming, anxiety, interrupted sleep and the most stress you will feel all year. Here are some tips on how to de-stress whilst preparing for your exams.
Take a break from revision (and don’t feel guilty about it)
You don’t have to be revising 24/7 to pass your exams; it’s actually far more effective to take breaks. Your mind can only work effectively for a short period of time so trying to force yourself to continuously work wont help. The most important piece of advice here is to not feel guilty about taking a break, don’t work yourself to the ground, feeling good and healthy is far more important than revising for hours on end.
After you’ve been stuck inside incessantly making notes it’s a good idea to have a change of setting. Go outside for a walk, run or just to breathe some fresh air. Being in a natural environment helps to calm anxiety and can restore your focus for later revision.
Actually do some revision
Probably the most de-stressing activity here is to actually just do some revision. Even if it’s for a short period, actually being productive and feeling more prepared for your exam is the most de-stressing activity.
Do something creative
Often revision feels completely soul destroying because you don’t have a visible end-product to satisfy your hard work. Doing something creative like writing a blog post, painting or drawing creates an end product for you to reflect on after you’ve completed it, this can be extremely rewarding and is likely to boost your mood in times of stress.
Get that endorphin hit to de-stress you by exercising. Exercise is the easiest and quickest mood boost. Run for ten minutes, lift some weights, go for a swim, whatever suits you. You’ll feel clearer, healthier and most importantly, less stressed. Exercising a few times a week during the exam period will drastically decrease your stress.
Eat a healthy meal
Eating healthy meals with plenty of protein can regulate your body’s stress hormone cortisol, keeping your exam anxiety to a minimum.
Eat an unhealthy meal
You can’t eat healthy meals all of the time and the exam period is the perfect time for a treat. Indulge in something tasty and unhealthy occasionally, after all getting stressed about eating healthily ALL of the time is the last thing you need.
Get enough sleep
Don’t stay up all night trying to revise, your body clock will be affected and unless your exams are in the twilight hours, this won’t help you. It’s far better to rest your mind in the evenings, get a good night sleep and rise early feeling refreshed and ready to tackle revision.
Mindfulness has been announced as being just as effective as anti depressants, meaning learning to breath yourself calm actually works. Try downloading a free meditation app or following a breathing routine on Youtube to relieve your stress.
Obviously this isn’t easy during such a stressful period but it is achievable. Do more than consciously telling yourself to relax, do something that actually makes you feel relaxed, whether that’s baking, taking a long bath, reading, or whatever you find relaxing.
Have faith, it will all be over soon. Good luck.