I hate to remind you, but exams are coming up….
Roshni Riar, Writer
June 16, 2012
Filed under Student Life
We all know what it feels like to be stressed before finals- the ball of nerves in your stomach, the headaches, the lump in your throat, the sweaty palms. And it all sucks, right? Well, in light of the upcoming school and provincial exams, here are some helpful and surprisingly effective tips to help you manage stress. I highly suggest you try a few of these out because there’s nothing worse than freaking out last minute before an exam and not being able to study properly because you’re so overwhelmed.
* Get comfortable! As you settle down to study, make sure you have everything you need around you, in an arm’s reach. Snuggle into your favourite chair or blanket and stay warm and relaxed. It’s important not to be too tensed up or uncomfortable physically because it could reflect in your attitude, as well.
* Force yourself to take breaks. Though it may seem like a good idea to study intently for three hours straight, it really isn’t. After straining to focus for too long, you start to fuzz out details and lose everything you could be retaining. For every hour that you study, take a break of 10-15 minutes. Let yourself relax and think of anything unrelated to your work. If you are studying and you feel your attention slipping, let it go, and take five minutes to recollect your focus before beginning again.
* Snacking is a good thing. But not just on the first thing you see. Keep a handful of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts or crackers near, so you have something to munch on while you read and take notes. The natural sugars and supplements in healthy snacks will help you focus and stay calm, as well as keep your hunger at bay. Because let’s be honest, there are few things as distracting as a growling stomach. It’s important to steer away from sugary, salty or fatty foods because on top of making you hyper, they could also make you feel heavy or tired, which could definitely distract you.
* Stay away from coffee. And though that might sound strange because you’d assume the caffeine would help you stay awake, that isn’t the case. While it may make you more alert, that also comes with being unfocused and distracted. It is a good idea to drink something warm, though. Herbal teas like peppermint and chamomile are soothing and relaxing and will help you stay calm and clear headed, as opposed to buzzed and hyper off of coffee.
* Breathe. This might seem like a redundant tip but it’s a key player in keeping you calm. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, put down your books and close your eyes. Lean back and find a comfortable spot to sit in and focus on your breathing. Take deep, full breaths in through your nose, and exhale through your mouth, tightening your stomach. Let all the air leave you before repeating the process. Focus on how the air feels going in, and the sound of your exhale. When you feel calm and relieved, continue with your studying.
* If you start to feel antsy, don’t hesitate to set your books aside and walk around for a few minutes. Shake out your tension by doing a few quick sit ups or jumping jacks. If you feel fatigued, a few brief minutes of exercise will help get your adrenaline and drive pumping again.
* Stay positive. And though that seems easy enough, you tend to neglect that in times of stress. Don’t lie, sometime in the past, you’ve walked into a test and told yourself you were going to fail. Even if it is awesome to be pleasantly surprised by a good mark, going into a test with a negative disposition isn’t an effective strategy. Telling yourself you won’t do well will not only jeopardize your chances of actually doing well but also change your mentality while studying. If you are determined you aren’t going to do well, then you end up becoming indifferent towards studying and do it half heartedly and lazily. Imagine yourself going into whatever it is that you’re studying for and feeling fully prepared. Imagine doing great on it and how exciting that would feel. Ready yourself for that so when you do walk into your exam, you will be confident and prepared to succeed.
This is just a brief list of all of the tips that through experience, I can attest to and say that they work and also a few others that I’ve gathered that I’m sure would work for you if you were willing to try. For more tips visit these websites: http://stress.about.com/od/studentstress/tp/school_stress.htm , http://www.stress-management-for-health.com/relieve-stress-before-exams.html and http://www.collegefashion.net/college-life/6-tips-to-beat-final-exam-stress/.
So with that, good luck studying and don’t let the stress get to you because no matter how overwhelming it all seems, there plenty of techniques to manage the stress and before you know it, the exams will be over!