Exam Preparation: Four Tips On How To Manage Anxiety During Exam Season
As the looming end of year examinations inch nearer, every student finds themselves engulfed by books, notes, sheets and countless other materials holding the key to exam success. Days bleed into each other as you constantly try to stuff your brain with sentence after sentence of vital information that could ambush you anytime once you’re sitting in that dreaded exam hall. It’s easy to let frustration build up and take over when all you’re doing is sitting down, revising and worrying about every tiny thing that could go wrong. Feelings like anxiety thrive in this environment, and it’s essential to always remember not to let them control you or affect your mood. Clearly, it’s easier said than done, but hopefully, with the following tips and tricks, the all too familiar exam anxiety can be kept at bay.
Create A Study Plan
Firstly, an organisation is a quintessential element that can prove vital when facing high-stress academic obstacles. To jump over every exam hurdle appropriately, an effectively organised study plan can help you make it a long way. Looking at your workload and deconstructing it, piece by piece, whether it be by chapters or subjects, will make an effort quantifiable and less abstract: so less scary! Once you have divided your workload, try and fit it into a schedule that you can follow, so step by step, it will also be easier to track your progress. Once you clearly have a schedule written down: stick to it! Gratification will slowly start to trickle in once you check the tasks off: and you’ll realise that bit by bit you’re getting where you need to be. Not only will this inherently make you feel more productive and spur you to work even harder, but it will give you a reason to not feel overwhelmed by the work you do have.
Summarise Your Information
Another way to effectively keep your anxiety in check is to effectively boil down your information. The human brain isn’t equipped to memorise lines and lines of material, so try and create a visual way that can help you retain as much as possible. Try drawing a diagram, and if that doesn’t work, try to jot down bullet points, and just work your way through different methods to see which one fits. You will have less reason to worry and stress when what you need to know is presented in a clear, orderly manner: chaos is not your friend!
Set Regular Breaks
While organisation and study techniques are the bedrock foundation of a healthy work schedule, it’s vital that you also give yourself space and time to decompress. Being constantly surrounded by work and tasks to do can get repetitive and make you feel as if you’re stuck in a hamster wheel: so take intermittent breaks when you study, but also try and carve out moments in your days in which you dedicate yourself to other activities so that your mind can be cleared up and ready to start the hard work once again. Studies have shown that a diverse routine will make studying more effective (and stress less pervasive) if you diversify your activities throughout the day.
Engage In Different Activities
After a long day of studying, for example, you can cook yourself a hearty meal, not only to sustain yourself and get all the vitamins you need but also to engage in a fun, stress-free (if you read the recipe right) time! Cooking is great because you can make meals that will also help manage your anxiety. For example, if you want to deviate from traditional cooking tips and tricks, you can incorporate CBD oil drops into your recipes! CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a non-addictive component derived from cannabis plants and used for a plethora of therapeutic ends: one of these, stress and anxiety management. Don’t be intimidated: CBD won’t make you feel ‘high’ in the same way smoking cannabis does: they are two different substances. A few drops of CBD oil in your cake batter, for example, won’t alter the taste of your delicious dessert, but it will make you feel more relaxed and stress-free. How does this happen? CBD can stimulate serotonin production in the brain: making way for positive, as opposed to negative, feelings or states of mind.
Furthermore, if the culinary business isn’t your ideal stress releasing mechanism, you can simply use CBD as a way to relax, using a CBD tincture and administering the oil under your tongue, taking CBD capsules or chewing delicious CBD gummies. Indeed, CBD can also help you diminish those pestering headaches and migraines that often barge in after a hefty study session. Besides producing serotonin, CBD is also involved in reducing aches and inflammation by making joint pain receptors less sensitive! Let yourself be washed over by a wave of relaxation before going to bed, and you’ll be better equipped to face a day of work ahead.
You might be reluctant because you might think that all of the aforementioned properties will make you lazy and less prone to work, that couldn’t be further from the truth! While it’s normal to think that that would be the natural consequence, think of it this way: if you’re more relaxed, have a clearer mind, and are less prone to pain, wouldn’t that give you more energy to concentrate and focus on whatever tasks may lay ahead of you? Sometimes a reframing of perspective is all that’s needed.
Whichever technique you pursue to manage your exam-induced anxiety, don’t forget to breathe. Everyone has their own way of navigating their academic journey, and don’t feel defeated if the weight of responsibility and expectations seems heavier and heavier by the day. It is an incremental process, a trial and error run, and who knows, maybe just one of the suggestions mentioned in this article will help you become slightly more peaceful during such a hectic time of the year. While exams are certainly an important part of our life, especially as young people, they absolutely (as cliché as it might sound) do not define us, and that’s something to always keep in mind. Good luck and go ace them (stress-free)!