Exam Season: A stress-free study season

Bubbling over with dread? Yup, exams are looming and they ‘aint going anywhere. Feel like you’re losing control? Life is about balance, and it’s important to take care of yourself and your mental health – guilt-free – even during exam season.

Stress isn’t something you can control: it creeps up on you when you’re already feeling overwhelmed and worried about different aspects of life.

But, when it comes to exams, stress is something you can manage.

TREAT YO’SELF

You know the saying: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. This is especially true around exam time, when excessive studying can lead to burnout and even more stress.

Don’t feel guilty about taking some time out to do something you enjoy: whether that’s letting off some steam with exercise, meeting up with mates, or playing a video game for an hour, it’s important to take some time for your brain to recharge.

And remember, you don’t have to be studying 24/7. If you’re revising during the day, use the evening to relax and reward yourself for all your hard work.

If you have a lie in and don’t start working until later on, make sure to schedule in time to revise in the evening to compensate.

RESPONSIBLE

Of course, self-care isn’t all about face masks and bubble baths. It’s about recognising what we can do to improve our lives, and sometimes that involves making small changes.

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HOW TO ACTUALLY START STUDYING? Okay, so you’re sitting behind your desk but you. just. can’t. get. started. Here are some tips that will help you to get started! 1. Remember that starting is the hardest part! Once you actually get started you are very likely to finish the task as well. So be a little harder on yourself to get started. 2. Start immediately after coming home from school/work. It’s helpful to start first thing when you get home because it gets you in the study mood immediately. If you procrastinate on starting after you get home it will get harder and harder to find motivation to start studying! 3. Clean your work space for 5-10 minutes before your study session so you’ll feel super motivated to get working. 4. Make it a habit – don’t think about it. Just do it. If you turn studying into a daily habit, you won’t even have to think about starting anymore because you’re so used to it. 5. Don’t stare at your books for hours. So schedule in a couple of hours of study time and actually study. If you open your books and just cannot get started, close them and try again later. 6. Watch some motivational videos to get in the mood. 7. Make it enjoyable: burn a candle, put on some music, watch your favorite show, whatever helps you to get started. 8. Don’t strive for perfection, strive for progress. Try to focus on getting the work done. 9. Try a very serious environment like the library or a study session with a motivated friend. You’re more likely to start if you see others around you studying. So these are my tips for getting motivated to start studying. I hope you feel motivated enough now to start and get the work done! I wish you all a productive day. What’s something you do to get started? FULL VERSION ON MY WEBSITE – link in bio!

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For example, if you know creating a timetable would help with your time management, or getting out of bed earlier would improve your mindset during the day, these changes are forms of self-care too: ultimately, they’re going to reduce feelings of stress and improve your productivity.

PROCRASTINATING

We’ve all spent time scrolling through Instagram when we should have been studying, purely because we couldn’t face the thought of opening the books.

We get it, it’s tough to get started.

Look at the end game. What are you going to regret more: putting your head down and revising, or wasting time on social media? It’s easier to hide from your responsibilities and procrastinate, but doing this means your tasks pile up, and will only increase the amount of stress in your life.

At the end of the day, all you can do is work hard and try your best, everything else is out of your control. And don’t forget – if you’re working hard during the day, there’s nothing to stop you from relaxing and enjoying some study-free time now and again.

If you’re experiencing stress in the run up to exams, head to the Young Minds website for support. 

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