Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Helping With Exam Stress/Things To Help You Relax

With March coming to a close, and April just a day away, I know for a lot of people this will come with the realisation that exams are just over a month away. I am lucky in the fact that my university course is solely coursework based, so I won't have to do any exams for the next three years, (and hopefully the rest of my life too!), but I vividly remember the horrible anxious feeling of looming exams during both GCSE's, and then with my A-Level's last year. For this reason I thought I would do a small post on helping to cope with the stress during exam season, with a few examples of  what I do to relax when I've got deadlines or exams.

  1. GET ORGANISED:
    People always say that an organised work space means an organised mind, and therefore improves your work ethic and working methods. And I have to agree with this point. Trust me, I know better than anyone what a pain it is to have to tidy your room/desk, but if you set aside a few hours during this Easter break you can tidy it all up, sort out your working space and then begin working in that space straight away.  A tidy work space will make spreading out all your revision notes much simpler and will seem less chaotic- plus, although this sounds pretty strange, I always find working on a tidy desk much calmer- anyone else have that?!
  2. START REVISING EARLY:
    This will help immensely! Yes it's a pain, but this will seriously help relieve your stress as the weeks go on and make revision seem less daunting- the more you put off revision, the scarier it gets.  At first, just going over what you've learnt in the past week's lessons on the weekend will help, and then later dedicate a bit of time to each subject, until finally revision is all you have left to do to prepare for exams.
  3. HAVE A BREAK!:
    This is definitely so important when revising- it is not healthy to be continually revising all day everyday.  Also, don't feel guilty or get stressed if you have a day or two off, in a way it'll give you a fresh mind to start the revision up again after having that little break.
  4.  SOCIAL TIME:
    Doing something social every week or so will help to take you mind off of all that stresses you out. Friends and family are there to support you too, so if you wanted someone to share your worries with, they are the ones to go to, your friends will most likely be feeling the same, and you family will have experienced similar in their life and can give you advice. Going to a club or doing a sport could be another way of getting out and socialising with friends, plus you'll be doing an activity to distract yourself.
  5.  GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP:
    Again, this will make a significant difference during this intense time. Personally, I know I have to have at least 8 hours sleep to be able to function properly, so during exam time last year I made sure I went up and got ready for bed at 8:30pm so that I was in bed for 9pm. his meant I could do a bit more reading of revision notes before turning the light off at 10/10:30pm, which would give me the amount of sleep I needed for when I got up at 6:30am (which is the time I had to get up to get to school on time!!).
  6. HEALTHY EATING:This is said to work to help reduce stress levels and put your mind in a better place. however, in all honesty I don't think I kept tabs on what I ate that much during my A-Level exam period.  I did, however, make sure that the evening before an exam I ate a good healthy meal with lots of veg and 'brain-food', as my Mum liked to call it. I also made sure that on the morning of an exam I had a healthy breakfast that filled me up, because there's nothing worse than feeling hungry half way through an exam and them being distracted by the thought of food! Healthy eating also includes staying hydrated, and for this I would recommend drinking lots of healthy smoothies, but also lots of water.
Referring back to the point I made earlier about getting a good night's sleep, I do realise that during exam time sleep doesn't always come so easily as usual. This makes getting a decent amount of sleep can be hard, so here are a list of things that help me relax before bed:

listening to my favourite music, or some calming music
reading a book or magazine
avoiding all electronic items an hour or two before going to sleep
a nice hot bath
spraying lavender scent onto my pillows and around my room
writing in my diary
having a nice cup of tea

I really hope this post will be reach those of you who are anxious about exams, and that it will help you in in some way.

-- Ash Cam


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