7 Ways to Beat Exam Stress
Exams can be very taxing, especially if you haven’t completed the syllabus yet. Your whole body starts to feel the stress and you feel mentally and physically drained. So here are a few nifty tricks to get you refreshed for another study session.
Before you read this, I would like to very clearly state that I am no expert in the field of stress management. I am not a med student or a doctor or even a psychiatrist.
I have written this blog because the following techniques have actually helped me reduce my stress level. So hopefully, these techniques will also help you.
Do you feel stressed before an exam?
1. Morning Walks
During an exam period, you might feel that taking a walk is almost a luxury you cannot afford. But it is scary how much a walk can clear your mind and refresh your brain especially if you decide to go somewhere where you are surrounded by nature. You will feel much calmer when you return to your desk.
2. Waking up Early
I know you ‘studied’ till 3 in the morning, and waking up at 5 again to study is not possible.
First off, let me assure you have already forgotten everything that you ‘studied’ up until that point. Your brain requires sufficient rest at night, at least for a minimum of 6 hours. So go to bed at 11 and wake up at 5:30.
Yes, that early. And no, you don’t have to jump back to your desk. Get up, relax, go outside, drink a cup of tea and enjoy the sunrise. You will feel so calm and at peace. Getting up early is almost psychologically beneficial, and I have gained a lot from this simple habit. Take an hour to yourself to simply reflect on the things you need to complete, on how far you’ve come and then by 6:30, you should get down on the table for your morning session. Trust me, you will be surprised by the sort of difference this makes. Try this once, just once, and come back and tell me how you felt.
Your study sessions should be broken up by moderate breaks. But in the middle, when you do take a long break, make sure you squeeze in some physical exercise. Now, most of you may/may not have your own exercise routine. But I don’t know how much you sweat or feel active after your work-out and whether or not you feel like you can study for another two hours.
Personally, I used to find exercise very boring. The same old sit-up, push-up, squats and…boring.
I discovered a wonderful thing which is a lot more fun and back-breaking than your normal exercise regime—Zumba. Zumba Dancing is, first of all, super fun - your entire body gets a fitness workout, you will feel intensely happy and active and it will calm your nerves because you will be too busy sweating and releasing endorphins.
I have posted the video for the Zumba work-out that I follow. It’s only a three-minute work-out, but you will be panting by the end of it.
If you feel very, very stressed and nervous about your exams, then go to sleep. I am very serious. Sleeping will block out everything even if it is for a short while and will help reduce stress levels.
The time table I follow during study sessions:
5:30 - 5:40 am
5:40 - 6:30 am
Walk/Relax/Make DO-TO list
6:30 - 10:30 am
(1st session) Study/eat breakfast
10: 30 - 11:15 am
11:15 - 1:00 pm
(2nd session) Study
1-00 - 4:30 pm
(Long break) Squeeze in an hour of sleep
4:30 - 4:45 pm
5:00 - 7:00 pm
(3rd Session) Study/eat snack
7:00 - 7:30 pm
8:00 - 10:00 pm
(4th session) Study/eat dinner
10:00 - 11:00 pm
Internet surfing/social media
11:00 - 11:30 pm
Get ready for bed
Do this when you wake up, before you even brush your teeth. There is this technique of breathing through your nose where you inhale through one nostril by blocking the other with your thumb and exhaling through the other nostril while blocking the first with your pinky. You will be wide awake in seconds. There are also a couple of poses that increase concentration. No, yoga actually helps you do that: Sitting absolutely still (as pictured above) crosslegged, your back straight and breathing normally will enhance your concentration level.
6. Not talking to anyone
Strange? But it is true that if you talk to your friends over the phone, right before the exam (we all do that), you might end up getting nervous. It happens to me all the time. You will be reminded of all the things that you are yet to do, and this will make you even more stressed than you already are. So don’t talk to your friends before an exam, and if you do, try hard to stay from the subjects like Are you done with this? Have you completed it? And so on.
7. Self-motivating videos
I'm not sure if you've noticed, but the Internet has more to it than just social media. And there are tons and tons of self-motivating videos on Youtube. And do they help? Of course they do! My favourite Youtube channel for motivating and self-help videos is TED Talks. If you haven’t heard about TED talks, then you are living under a rock. But if you ask for my favourite all-time motivating video, then it is certainly the one I have posted below. Take a quick look to feel intensely motivated. I get goosebumps every time I watch it.
Did you find this article useful?
Feel free to drop comments on your tactics of de-stressing before exams.
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© 2016 Priya Barua