exam stress and self care

It’s like threading a needle or pushing toothpaste back into its tube.  How about sitting on your suitcase trying to zip it closed even though you know, you overpacked? This is the frustration you’re faced with while preparing for exams. We understand.

It’s of importance that you know how to take extra care of yourself while you’re studying. With that said, let’s highlight a few lessons on how to make exam season more manageable.

  1. Get rid of ‘Dread Weight’: The amount of work you have can be daunting and may leave you feeling overwhelmed. This will cause you to procrastinate or completely halt you from executing the task at hand. Your mind is powerful. Make the mental switch from dread to acceptance. Once you’ve accepted what lies ahead, your mind will commit to overcoming it. Repeat this acceptance to yourself a few times if necessary. You’ll feel a whole lot lighter.
  • Create Structure: Break your studying into identifiable chunks – assigning timeslots to various sections of work. Be fair on yourself when allocating time. It shouldn’t be rushed nor should it be extremely lengthy. Have a balance. Get your head in the game and keep it there until you’ve finished a particular section. This will ensure you take breaks and prevent you from burning out. You’ll achieve quite a bit while still feeling refreshed.
  • Keep an organised space: Immediately making your bed when you wake up is the best way to start a productive day. Similarly, keeping the space around you neat and tidy will give you a sense of control and reduce the feeling of chaos. A messy kitchen or heaps of laundry can be distracting when you need to focus on your exams. When your space is clean, your mind will automatically prioritise studying above all else.
  • Minimize Distractions: Your smartphone is probably the biggest distraction out there. If not your smartphone, streaming services will take precious amounts of your time without you realizing it. We all love scrolling through Social Media and catching up on our latest series, however, we should learn to contain it during exam season. Priorities are key. Try turning off your notifications or turning your smartphone on silent mode while studying. You may even place it in another room. This will ensure you don’t break your focus. Thereafter, you may reward yourself with an episode of your favourite series.

Taking some time out of your schedule to relieve yourself from the pressures of your daily responsibilities will serve you well. This will reset your mind and body to get back to a healthy point where you are well-balanced again. Here are 3 recommendations on how to take better care of yourself:

  1. Get enough sleep: Your body needs at least 8 hours of sleep everyday, especially with the increased pressure of the world we live in. This will leave you feeling refreshed and focused. It will also ensure your productivity is at its optimum. Short power naps are also a great way to refresh you, clear your mind and have you fighting for your goals like a champion.
  • Improve your diet: This doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive exercise. Start small by incorporating a few fruits and vegetables in your weekly meals. These are good sources of vitamins and minerals which will protect you from certain diseases. Cut down on sugar such as chocolates, gum and cake items. This, accompanied with drinking 8 glasses or 2 litres of water daily will increase your energy levels, lift your mood and help you manage your weight better.
  • Take breaks: The power of me-time should never be underestimated. We all need a break from our jobs, family and friends. This becomes a healthy habit once we do it often. Taking out time to be alone for a short period of time will reduce your stress levels and grant you valuable time for self-discovery and deeper thinking. It will also increase your creativity.

And that’s it! The secret to threading a needle, getting toothpaste back into its tube and cramming those boots into your suitcase.

We wish you well this exam season. Make the best of it. The power lies within you.

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