How I manage stress in Exam Season
Like everyone, I am getting more and more anxious about the up and coming deadlines and exams. But over the last few years I have worked out ways to avoid this as much as I can, and I am going to share this with you today in this Blog.
- I used to listen to what everyone else was doing to prepare for exams and deadlines- and still find myself doing so- and it’s just not worth getting worked up about. For several reasons:
- If you’re anything like me you will have some sort of plan- whether that’s mental or a physical printed out plan.
– Stick by your plan- make sure that your deadlines are completed on time and make sure there isn’t too much of a last minute rush.
– Always have a buffer- I know that I always have a last minute panic- whether that’s referencing (the bane of my life) or a last minute word count realisation. So calculate that into your plan- allow for last minute woopsies.
- Don’t compare yourself to others
– No matter how ‘together’ a person can seem, I would be incredibly surprised if they are coping as well as you think. Everyone feels the pressure this time of year, so focus on your deadlines and getting through them as best you can.
– I personally avoid asking other people how much work they have done towards a deadline, or how much they have revised. Comparing myself to them does nothing but work me up!
- Trust yourself
– You have worked hard all year, make all your hard work count.
– Remember, you’ve been learning this stuff all year, this is just revision.
- Coffee shops breaks
– I love all things coffee shops, and sometimes a 15 minute break in a coffee shop is all I need to clear my head.
– Its times like these that down time cannot be underestimated- sometimes you need to ask yourself- is this work of good quality? Am I soaking any of this in? If the answer is no, then take a break. And come back.
– Invite friends- nobody can go all day in a library or sat at a desk without going insane. Failing that organise a 30 minute lunch break with someone.
– I personally shared a pot of tea with a friend this week, offloaded about how stressed we both are and felt ten times better!
- Feel good and retail therapy
– I have always felt that getting up and ready in the morning is really important to getting decent work done. Granted a duvet day is loverrly, but I personally find that I don’t get as much work done and by the end of the day I feel irritable.
– I like to get up, get in the shower, put on an outfit that’s comfortable but I feel good in and start my work in a good mood.
– I also have a bad habit of buying myself a little something when I’m feeling the stress, which actually I think is a good investment. An investment in myself. I like to see it as a motivation to work hard and maintain my positive outlook!
- YouTube/ TV/ Movies/ Books
– Everyone works best at different times- I personally work best between 4pm and 10pm. I have no idea why, but I find I have a sudden drive for work around this time, whereas 10am I am a highly unenthusiastic worker. So after I have finished my evening work I like to chill with a book or YouTube, maybe a film or some TV.
– As a history student, sometimes the last thing I want to do is read. I do so much reading a day, whether that’s pre-reading for seminars, re-reading notes or writing essays- it’s a lot of reading. So I follow several vloggers on YouTube and use that as my outlet before bed.
- A combination of healthy food and treats
– During exam season it’s so easy to stay sat down for longer periods of time, so I like to make sure I’m doing the best I can to stay healthy.
– Plus, healthy food is great brain food.
– Examples of the meals I am loving at the moment to keep me full, healthy and focussed: chilli con carne, avocado on toast, asparagus and egg, stir fry and all things fish based!
- Going to the Gym
– I am loving the gym at the moment, I can have a break and work up a sweat, while feeling like I’ve got my life together that bit more.
– I always feel that bit less guilty about staying in the library all day when I go to the gym.
This is so important- get out of the house and move around!
– Coffee shops (basically where I live)
– Restaurants- you can keep this cheap, the other day a group of friends and I headed over to Fusion Bar, for £7.50 I got a great portion of Chilli Beef and Rice, and a diet Coke- which I think is pretty decent!
– Clubs- if this is something you enjoy, go out and let your hair down! I always think of nights out or a night off as recharging your batteries!
– Sit with friends- I watched the Heavy Weight Title match with some friends the other night and it was great fun.
- Revise in multiple places- even if you live off campus!
– If you live in Leamington Spa you could travel onto campus, treat your day as a 9 to 5, finish your work on campus and have the evening to chill.
– Alternatively, go to the Study Space in Leamington, check out a coffee shop or a space other than your room- even if it’s just the kitchen!
– I like to change where I study throughout the day- I move from the desks in the library to the arm chairs in Oculus to the sofas in the Learning Grid.
- You could even go home if you wanted
– You shouldn’t feel guilty about going home, taking a day off or having some fun at an event.
– It’s important to chill sometimes- I am going home next weekend, so I intend to have all my work completed before I go home.
These are just some of the things I do, I hope this helps!