De-stressing Techniques for Exam Season

Did you know that some stress can help you perform better in exams? “Good stress” (also known as eustress) leads to short-term changes in the body that make you feel energised and motivated. This kind of stress can even help with mental focus. 

Those little heart flutters you feel before a big exam are not necessarily a bad thing, but too much stress is detrimental to exam performance. Instead of helping with mental clarity, high levels of stress can make you unfocused and exhausted. 

The shallow, fast breathing that accompanies stress can cause dizziness and increase anxiety.  Over extended periods “bad” stress can seriously impact your health leading to digestive issues, headaches and a host of other problems. 

To avoid the negative consequences of unhealthy stress, follow our favourite de-stressing techniques for exam season. 

Get Enough Quality Sleep

Sleep is usually one of the first things to suffer when you’re stressed and anxious. This is exacerbated further when you’re staying up late studying for exams. 

While you might think burning the midnight oil to prepare for a test will alleviate exam stress, a lack of sleep will only increase anxiety. Make sleep a priority and establish a calming bedtime routine by listening to music, taking a warm bath or reading something unrelated to school. Try to avoid screens for an hour before bed and aim for at least 8 hours of sleep each night.

Regularly Practice Relaxation Techniques

Many people give up on relaxation techniques after a few attempts because they think they’re not working. Like anything, these techniques require regular practice. If you put in the effort, not only will they reduce your stress, but they’ll also help with concentration and motivation

All you need is a couple of minutes every day to practice breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques. These exercises will calm down your stress response and turn your focus back to the present moment, allowing you to think more clearly. When you start to feel overwhelmed, take some time out to breathe in and out slowly. If you’ve been practicing, you’ll find your stress levels reduce much more quickly. 

Eat Well and Exercise 

When you’re preoccupied during exam season, it can be hard to watch what you eat, but the fuel you put in your body influences your mental state. It’s important to eat a balanced diet and to drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause headaches and concentration issues. 

Exercise naturally relieves stress and is a proven mood booster. We recommend getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day by running, doing yoga or even dancing in your bedroom. Try to get outside too, because just 5 minutes of sunlight can increase serotonin levels, helping improve your mood, reduce stress and sleep better.

Take Frequent Study Breaks

Studying at your desk for hours without any breaks is counterproductive to learning. For your brain to retain knowledge it needs rest to recharge. Without this downtime, you simply won’t absorb what you’re reading. 

Every 25 – 30 minutes stop and take a short break. Go for a walk, talk to a friend or listen to music. This is also a good time to practice relaxation techniques. Frequent short breaks help with focus and will prevent burnout. 

Reach Out For Help

When you’re stressed and anxious, it’s easy to feel alone, but there’s help all around you. Why not reach out to a trusted teacher or school counsellor and tell them how you’re feeling? They can give advice on reducing pressure and managing your workload.

Talking to your parents and friends can do much to alleviate stress. A tutor can also be a great source of support during this time, offering practical advice and guidance about study techniques and stress management. Seek out professional help if you feel that things are becoming too overwhelming. 

The Tutor Doctor Difference

Our tutors are carefully selected through an advanced matching system to fit each student’s needs. We develop a personalised program for each child, based on their learning style and interests. 

We help students study more effectively by assisting with organisation, time management and focus. During exam season our students are fully prepared and supported, and this does much to reduce exam stress.

Contact us for a free consultation today!

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