What are Stress Relieving Mechanisms During Exam Season?

Managing our well-being effectively helps to reduce stress, worry and anxiety that may be taking over our lives negatively. 

For college students, exam season is one of the most stressful situations to experience. To overcome this stress and anxiety, there are many ways students can manage their mental health. 

According to Pomlett from the Psychological Health Care “you are more likely to do well in you exams if you practice stress reduction techniques as stress impedes your memory from processing information. Such techniques include mindfulness. 

Mindfulness is the practice of living in the moment. Thinking mindfully can help gain control over your thoughts while reducing stress, helping concentration levels during study or an exam. Pomlett states that research has shown as little as ten minutes a day of mindfulness meditation can improve concentration and boost mental performance. 

Preparation is also an important technique. Decide what time you can set aside to study and commit to it. Knowing you are doing your best; you can let go of some of that anxiety and tension. When making your study plan, include breaks. A useful rule is to study for 50 to 60 minutes, and then take 20 minutes off. Avoid screen time during breaks, this will only make your mind distracted. Instead, go outside, take a walk, or go for a bike ride or even mediate. Let your mind relax and recharge during your study break. Also customise your notes personal to you. This may include highlighting important definitions or making diagrams. Choose whatever method which helps you learn a topic.

Exam time is one of the most important times to focus on eating a healthy diet. Your mind needs plenty of nutrients to function optimally, just as your body does. Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Eggs, fish, and yogurt are other healthy, stress-relieving food choices as they are great sources of key vitamins, as well as healthy proteins and fats to support your brain. (Pomlett, 2015)

Lastly, on exam day, the NHS recommend looking over past exam papers to familiarise yourself with the layout and the types of questions you may be asked. Be prepared by starting the day with a good breakfast, time your journey, have everything you need and finally plan how much time you will need for each question. 

Once the exam is finished, forget about it!

Kelly Carty