Exam Season: How To Prioritise Your Mental And Physical Health
It’s that day. Your final year exams are literally around the corner. It’s just a matter of minutes until you take your seat and put pen to paper.
A lot of students face exam stress, and this can lead to serious harm, not only physically but mentally. If you find yourself in this position, here are some coping mechanisms to help you along the way:
Know where you’re supposed to be
This might sound obvious, but you must know where you’re supposed to be for your exam. That means knowing what room, what date, what time, and what part of the campus you need to be in. It’s always worth double-checking as there may be a (rare) occasion when the exam date or room has been changed. Contact your student exam office to find out if this is the case.
If you know where you need to be, this will hopefully put your mind at ease and you can focus more on preparing for the exam.
Move that body
During exam season, students are busy sitting at their desks revising and trying not to get distracted by the sunshine outside. You may even have the urge to gulp down coffee or a red bull. But did you know walking can help you cope? According to some studies, brisk walking releases endorphins, which can help reduce stress. Walking also increases blood flow and oxygen supply in your body, making your heart healthier.
Other studies have shown that just looking at natural scenes could help you recover from stressful tasks. Your brain will be working very hard, and just like your body it can get tired. So go and check out some natural scenery and allow your brain to relax.
Late nights and high levels of stress can make you reach for a chocolate bar rather than an apple. This is especially true if you’re on a tight student budget!
While it’s perfectly reasonable to treat yourself, good nutrition is equally important. What you eat during your exam period can affect the way you feel and how you perform. Try and balance your diet with all the essential fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and water. This may mean making some changes to your diet, but it will only serve to your benefit!
To make that change, ensure you eat from the various food groups throughout your day.
Talk and support
If you’re really feeling the pressure of exams, talk. Don’t bottle it all in. Don’t isolate yourself. Talk to a university professional counsellor. Their services are all free and confidential, which you an access.
It can be hard to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, and if you don’t feel comfortable approaching your university counsellor, try and talk to someone you can trust. This might be a family member or a friend. They will know you better and will care for you. Sometimes you just need someone to vent out all your emotions, so give it a try.
The most important thing is to find someone who can support you. This means someone who is willing to listen to your concerns and is equally willing to offer help.
Just remember, you can get through this. Don’t isolate yourself, move your body, eat well and talk to someone who can support you. This moment is but a fleeting shadow that will pass by. Exams will come and go, but you are here to stay! So no matter what, prioritise your mental and physical health; you’ll be able to study and perform much more successfully.
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