Exams can be incredibly stressful, especially if you’re preparing for prelims or finals. Thankfully, there are ways to maintain your sanity during this time. Here are 5 easy things you can do to beat exam-time stress.

Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises such as the “4-7-8 Exercise” and the “Bellows Breath” can help you calm down if you’re feeling overwhelmed before or during an exam, or even while taking a study break. There are many breathing exercises or “techniques” you can discover by searching for “breathing exercises” online, where you’ll find detailed explanations on how to do each one.

Avoid unhealthy foods and drinks

Exams can be a trigger for stress-eating, which happens when you eat to cope with your emotions. If you’re having cravings for unhealthy foods or feel like over-indulging even after you feel full, you may be stress-eating. Be mindful of what foods you’re eating and how often you eat so that you’re feeling energised instead of bloated and tired.

This may sound counter-productive, but we promise we have a point here. You should avoid caffeine despite the temptations to overload on coffee and energy drinks. Caffeine can make you feel even more anxious and tired once you crash from the high it gives you. It can also make certain symptoms of anxiety (such as jitteriness or an upset stomach) worse.

Take time to do yoga, meditate or just relax

We know that exams can get super busy, to the point where you feel like you have no free time. However, as busy as this time gets, you would really benefit from taking 20-30 minutes to dedicate to relaxing. Different people relax in different ways and we’ll only be able to cover a few here, however, the trick with relaxation is to allow yourself to re-connect with your emotions and balance your mind by being alone, in a quiet place- and no, browsing social media doesn’t count!

If you’re looking for some online videos of various yoga and pilates sessions as well as guided meditations, check out the channels BohoBeautiful and Divinely Gia.

You can also take some time to read a book, go outside and relax with a cup of tea or do something creative such as draw or write. This time is important to have every day, as it will make you feel refreshed and ready to take on your exam tasks.

Do some exercise during your study breaks

Exercise is proven to improve concentration as well as mood- in addition, of course, to getting you looking fab! You don’t need an expensive gym membership either- you can go for a jog around your neighbourhood or even follow along with an exercise video online! A few of our favourite channels that offer free exercise routines are Blogilates, SofaBar, Koboko Fitness and Popsugar Fitness.

Even 30 minutes of exercising a day can make you feel empowered and positive- so the next time you’re taking a study break, take a few minutes to move around and get your blood pumping!

Get organised

Getting organised with an exam calendar and diary will make you feel a lot less overwhelmed about the amount of work you need to get done.

The essential info you need to have on your exam calendar is:

-The dates, times and venues for all your exams. -What subjects you’ll revise on which day. -Any other events you need to note.

The essential info you need to have in your diary is:

-The dates, times and venues for all your exams. -A detailed to-do list every day including which subject and section of work you’ll be studying that day. You can add some check-boxes to tick once you’re done with that particular task. -Any other extra-curricular events or events outside of school that you’ll be attending (eg. sports matches, birthday parties, doctor’s appointments).

Also, don’t be afraid to decorate your calendar and diary! Using different colours for each subject as well as stickers, pictures or an inspirational quote or two.

The most important thing to remember around exam time is that it will be over soon, and that there’s nothing to be afraid of. As long as you study, ask for help if you need it and prepare yourself, you’ll do well.

Good luck!

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