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How to stay sane during the exam period

How to stay sane during the exam period

With exam season approaching and stress mounting, it can sometimes be hard to actually stay calm and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Here are some top tips on how to get through revision this summer (and then you get to jet off on a well deserved holiday at the end of it all)!

Get enough sleep

Sleep is incredibly important for energy and brain function. No matter how tempting it is and how stressed you are, try not to pull an ‘all-nighter’ in the library. Make sure that you get a good eight hours each night. Exams can be stressful and you don’t want sleep deprivation coupled in with all of that!

Work while listening to instrumental music

Studies show that people work more efficiently to music or to some form of background music. So, whack on some instrumental tunes and try not to choose anything that has lyrics in it.

Revise with friends

Revision is a lonely activity and boredom can sometimes make it incredibly hard to concentrate. One of the best ways to combat this is to work with your friends. Organise some study groups, get the snacks and drinks in, and get everyone round to study.

Stay calm

It’s much easier said than it is done, but you need to remember to stay calm. Some great calming exercises can be meditation or yoga in the morning. Although these activities may seem a little silly, sometimes it can be as simple as just sitting by yourself for five minutes and completely shutting off your brain. Start the day with a completely calm and fresh set of mind, it’ll really help with the nerves!

Work off a timetable

A perfect way to control anxiety over your work hours is to make your own timetable and stick to it.

Complete simple ‘to-do’ lists

It can be tricky to know where to start when you wake up ready for a day full of revision. Write a to-do list the night before literally planning out your day step by step, this way you won’t waste any time!

Avoid complete isolation

One of the main downsides of exams, heck, are there any positives- is that you can start to feel quite isolated.
Whether it’s sitting on your own in the library or getting up early in the morning, you might end up stuck in an exam bubble. The best way to get around this (and to not let your sanity slip away) is to make sure that you actively set time aside for friends. See them whenever you can or give your best friend, family member or partner a call after an exam or a difficult day of revision, it really helps.

Eat lots of snacks

TREAT YOURSELF! Exams can be very stressful and sometimes all you need is a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Make sure that that you have snacks constantly on call and do not feel guilty about giving into your comfort foods, sometimes, it’s exactly what you need!

Give yourself something to look forward to each day

Ever found that it’s unbelievably easy to wake up super early on your birthday? It’s because you are actually excited for the day! When it comes to hours and hours of work, having the motivation to get up and moving can be hard. Make sure that you have something little to look forward to every day.

Be disciplined while revising and then reward yourself after. Head out for a meal, cook your favourite food, watch a movie or even just have a nice relaxing bath! By having something to look forward to it will be so much easier to get through the day.

Drink lots of fluids- try to avoid too much coffee

You need to be drinking eight glasses of water a day for a healthy mind and body. That’s about three litres so it is quite a lot. Stagger it throughout the day and make sure that you always have a bottle nearby. Try to limit yourself to two cups of coffee a day, and try to switch it up for some hot water and lemon. This will also save you money that you will most likely be spending at the cafe or on the vending machine.

Wear comfortable clothing

Nobody wants to work for hours and hours in stiff, uncomfortable jeans. Make yourself nice and cosy in some of your most comfortable clothes and get down to work. You can always put a blanket on you and make sure that your snacks and drinks are always close by so you don’t have to get up and down all the time. Be careful, however, you don’t want to be so cosy that you fall asleep!

Have a good work environment

Your work environment makes a huge difference to your work ethic so it’s always important to ensure that you have a tidy and comfortable place in which to study. Tidy your desk, find a comfortable chair and get working.

Have your own spa evening

When we are stressed a chemical in our body is triggered called cortisol, this essentially wreaks havoc with our hormones and can cause irritability, low moods, and bad skin.

The best way to combat this is to take some time for yourself. Make a cup of tea, have a lie-down and if you are feeling extra stressed, then have a spa evening! Face masks, bubbly and a nice bath never hurt anyone- did it?

Talk to someone and express your opinion

Remember that if the stress does get too great, then you do need to tell someone and open up the conversation.

Speak to a loved one, family member or friend or if you would like to stay within the university, then check out their counselling services that they have on offer, you will be able to get some brilliant guidance throughout the exam period.

Book some getaways

If there is one good thing about summer exam season, it’s that holiday season is just on the horizon! A great way to keep yourself sane during the exam period is to book some holiday getaways for the summer!

Put things in perspective

It’s always important and handy to put things in perspective and to keep them there! Think about it, this exam season is going to last a very short time in comparison to the rest of your life, so, just keep going and it’ll soon all be worth it!

Elizabeth Whittingham Elizabeth is a history graduate currently working in content and communications.