Exam stress affects students in many different and individual ways. It's important that you find little ways to manage that stress before it leads to burnout and hinders your learning. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Put away the procrastination
Starting early is one of the biggest struggles for students and this is a huge contributor to exam anxiety.
2. Do not skip meals, especially breakfast
Those who consume regular meals concentrate better, are more alert, and memorise more than those who did not.
3. Choose your snacks carefully
Avoid food and drinks that are high in sugar or caffeine, as that usually leads to a sugar crash later on. Instead, try mood-enhancing foods such as dark chocolate, blueberries, pistachio nuts, and sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
4. Drink lots of water
Aim for at least 8-10 glasses every day. Drinking water boosts brain functions and helps reduce cortisol levels (the body's stress hormone).
5. Exercise regularly
Even simple exercises like brisk walking, skipping or cycling helps you to de-stress, improves blood circulation and keep you energised.
6. Make a schedule and stick to it
Knowing exactly what you need to complete as well as its deadline, helps to reduce stress that comes with uncertainty and urgency. You could even add a small treat or reward to motivate yourself.
7. Take a break
While constant studying may seem ideal, your concentration and focus levels may not be able to keep up. It's ok to give yourself a break from studying, ideally every 45 minutes.
8. Cut out distractions
Checking your social media while your studying may seem harmless, but 5mis can quickly turn into an hour. If you have trouble switching off, consider temporarily deleting those apps or download an app that blocks you from using your phone for a set period to time.
9. Just breathe
Close your eyes and centre yourself. Inhale through your nose gently for two seconds. Hold your breath in for one second. Breathe out through your mouth slowly for four seconds. Repeat for one minute (or longer if you like) and you should feel a difference in your mood!
10. Try the Palming method
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now, imagine a place or a scene that relaxes you – it can be your favourite place to visit or the best vacation you ever had. After two minutes, open your eyes. Repeat as often as needed to give yourself a break, especially when travelling is discouraged.
11. Clear the clutter
Mess equals stress. A neat, tidy and organised environment also helps to improve focus and clarity. If you need inspiration, check out our Storage & Organisation section. Home & Dorm section. (Psst! Taylor's residents get free in-room set up).
12. Let music move you
Soothing and classical music can help you stay calm and focused while up-tempo beats may help you stay motivated.
13. Say it out loud.
Give yourself a motivational pep-talk or talk to someone you trust. This can make you feel better and put things into perspective.
14. Get enough sleep.
This one won't be easy for most students but a consistent sleep pattern improves overall quality of sleep, which in turn improves concentration and focus the next day. You could even take a 20-min power nap for a quick recharge.
15. Try aromatherapy
Scents and smells have long been influencing emotions and affecting moods. Try our aromatherapy starter pack and smell the difference as your stress just melts away.