“I’m soooooo stressed out right now!” Sound familiar?
It’s not unusual for students to experience anxiety and tension at the thought of sitting exams. Here’s some strategies for putting those nervous energies into study prep or just chilling out between exams.
Prioritise: What are you going to study today and how will you do it? Can some day-to-day tasks be put on hold until after exams?
Reassure yourself: take time out to tell your subconscious that you don’t have a life-threatening situation to deal with so your fear of upcoming exams is not needed. You’ve got a study plan so make yourself feel better by ticking off the tasks as you complete them.
Breathe: When you breathe in make sure the breath out is longer, as long and slow as you can manage. This can really put the brakes on run-away anxiety. Breathe lower down rather than in the upper chest. Put your hands lower than your diaphragm and watch them rise and fall with each breath. Focus, concentrate on breathing in through the nose and slowly exhale. This will lower your blood pressure and change your brainwave pattern from beta (mental activity) to alpha (relaxation).
Reconnect yourself: Make getting into nature a priority – walk amongst trees, have lunch in the sun. Do things that normally give you joy, preferably away from any kind of screen or device. Maybe a yoga session at the RecCentre would be the thing for you.
Find a balance between periods of study concentration, physical relaxation and also fun.
Your study tips
We asked for your study tips – here’s what you told us…
“Nobody benefits from sitting around stressing out and putting unnecessary pressure on themselves. It’s better to get out and have some fun and come back to it [study] later.” – Ella, second year science student
“Stay positive, if you’re positive, positive results will happen. It’s the law of attraction!” – Isaac, second year law student
“The Zen room [at the UC RecCentre] is my favourite place at uni!” – Verity, second year engineering and arts student