This week, we’re giving you tips to stay calm during exams. It’s December, and that means lots of fun, festive events – but also, for students, it means it’s exam time. It’s perfectly normal to get stressed about multiple tests, but Waters Edge has some tips that can help you through some of this anxiety.
5 Tips to Stay Calm During Exams
Getting enough sleep is a crucial part of staying healthy and performing well on your tests. At least 6-8 hours per night for teenagers and young adults, and more for younger kids. This will help lessen your anxiety.
Create a nighttime routine – a cup of tea, some light reading, having a soothing environment. All of these will help you to get the rest you need. Sleeping curates synapses in the brain that retain what you’ve learned! So get that sleep.
Your brain needs food. Plain and simple. Eating balanced meals at regular intervals will keep you from crashing and help keep you alert during your exams. Make sure to include plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables.
3. Deep Breathing
This one is easy but helps SO much in relieving stress. Our counselors have had so much success with clients when helping them develop deep breathing techniques. We suggest the “Counting in 4’s” method – you breathe in for 4 counts, hold your breath for 4 counts, and then breathe out for 4 counts.
You’ll be amazed at what 2-3 minutes of this will do to calm your anxiety. There are also plenty of meditation apps out there that are easy to employ in your daily life.
As we mentioned before, it is completely normal to feel stress during exams. But when you try to push that anxiety down or away, you’re actually making it worse. Embrace and recognize the stress you feel – acknowledge it, accept it, but do not let it rule you. Then use some of these other techniques to help alleviate it.
5. Grounding Technique
This particular method uses your five senses to bring your mind back to the present instead of worrying about the future. Mindfulness is key. Here are some ways our counselors recommend going about this:
- Hearing. Experience the moment you are in. Studies have shown that studying for more than about 40 minutes at a time can actually hurt more than help. So have your study time, then take a 10 minute break. Listen to music. Go outside and listen to your environment. Maybe even some white noise or ocean sounds. This will help you get back in the moment.
- Smelling. Get a lavender plant or candle. Light some incense. Bake some cookies. Scent is a way to bring us out of our own minds and into the present.
- Tasting. Get some good chocolate. Grab a peppermint or butterscotch. Take a break from studying and really TASTE what you are eating. Take joy in it and let it calm you down.
- Touching. This can include things like Squishmallows, stress balls, pop fidget gadgets. It can even include petting your cat or dog. Tactile things like these can help alleviate stress and are easy to do.
- Sight. Take a break, and go outside. Take in your surroundings. The trees, the sky, the beautiful buildings in our city. Maybe you love art – go to the Telfair and wander around a bit. This will calm you down and take your mind off of your studies for a while.
5 Tips to Stay Calm During Exams (Download the PDF Here!!)
If You Still Need More Support
If you find that the stress surrounding exams is just too overwhelming for you, please reach out to us at 912.319.5552 or email us. We have counselors trained in helping children, adolescents and teens – and we can help you find ways to alleviate that stress. Waters Edge Counseling is here for you.