Dealing with exam stress

Now that the exams are in full swing, MIND Cymru has supplied some advice in this blog for pupils on how to deal with the pressure they can face.

 Sara Moseley, Director of Mind Cymru

Exams are tough for all of us and coping with the stress of exams can have an impact on our mental health. However, you needn’t feel alone. It’s important to remember there are lots of things you can do to ease the pressure of exams, and that different things work for different people. Here are some useful tips: 

Get organised. Take some time to create a timetable to ensure you revise in small manageable chunks. This will help you to remain focused and will ensure you take short breaks. The most productive brains are those that rest properly too. Give yourself a chance to breathe and for your mind to process everything you’ve just learnt. At the peak of exam stress, it can be easy to forget about you and what makes you happy. You deserve time off. Set some goals and allow yourself to visit a friend for coffee or a much needed trip to the cinema.  

Get active. Being outdoors and getting physically active can have real benefits for everyone’s mental health and wellbeing.  It’s no secret that regular aerobic exercise increases positive moods and will help you feel prepared and ready to achieve your goals 

Get healthy. Our brains need food to grow and develop. Skipping meals or eating the wrong kind of foods can lead to confusion and lack of clarity. Think about your diet. Avoid foods which make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly, such as sweets, biscuits, sugary drinks, and alcohol. These will make you feel tired, irritable and low. Replace them with slow-releasing foods such as pasta, bread and rice. Stay hydrated. Not drinking enough fluid can have a big impact your ability to concentrate and think clearly.  

Get talking. Don’t be put off by your friends who may be saying they’re doing hours of endless revision. No-one can keep going 24/7. If you’re feeling anxious, talk to someone you trust. Ask for help to plan and arrange your time. They know you best and may be able to offer some practical solutions to help you to relax. 

Get some rest. Above all, be kind to yourself. We’re not machines. Working hard must come hand-in-hand with moments to relax and unwind. Go to bed early, listen to music, read a book and get a good night’s sleep. Remember that your best is good enough! 

If you need any further help or advice or just someone to listen, don’t hesitate to call Mind’s Infoline on 0300 123 3393. We’re here for you.