Looking after your health and wellbeing is crucial when preparing for and sitting exams:
Get enough sleep (for once)
Studies have shown that revising into the early hours of the morning doesn’t work as it leaves your brain far less capable of dealing with the next day. There are lots of herbal remedies that can help aid sleep if necessary.
Using lavender oil aromatherapy or a mist spray is great for relaxing and helping you get to sleep. Similarly, throughout the day there are herbal remedies such as Kalms or Rescue Remedy which can alleviate symptoms like a tight chest and breathlessness.
Lay off the energy drinks
This sounds very preachy but as good as they are short term, they disrupt your sleep cycle and elevate your heart rate – two components that lead to anxiety and stress, which you don’t want in exam season.
This might be the most important tip of them all. You have to know when to put down your pen, close your laptop and switch off your mind. An hour before bed is probably the best time for this, see family or friends, watch TV – whatever it takes to give your brain a break.
Try and eat a healthy balance of food – it may seems like the simplest, most obvious thing in the world, but it gets your brain functioning properly. It allows you to concentrate, feel awake and alert, and to study more effectively, as you don’t feel sluggish or hungry.
Take time for yourself
Do whatever you love to do for a minimum of one hour a day, by getting into the structure and pattern of a routine that allows you to do so. It will help focus your concentration and make you feel accomplished and happy.
The night before
On the eve of the exam, the best advice is to begin to wind down. While many people would keep cramming at this point, it’s much better to take things slow and relax. Have a walk, go to the gym, play Xbox. Whatever makes you feel calm. Staying relaxed and composed during this period is better for you than stressing out over a textbook.
It’s also best to double-check the time of your exam, its location and to prepare your bag with whatever supplies you need the evening before. You don’t want to put that stress on top of any worries you have in the morning.
Hopefully, you found this helpful, but if you’re still feeling stressed the Student Wellbeing Centre is always on hand to help. They have drop-ins Monday to Friday 12-2, and you can phone ahead or visit around 11 to book yourself a place.