Taking care of your mental health this exam season

There’s not long left to go before exam season 2019 is over. But, until then you’re probably knee deep in revision and books – it can be stressful.

Cramming for your final exams, staying up late and continuing to work on regular coursework is definitely hard work. Take a step back and appreciate the hard work you’ve put in so far.

As this week is Mental Health Awareness Week it’s important that you look at how you’re treating yourself and your mental health.

STRESS

Everyone will experience stress during their lifetime. Heck, even a little bit is good and will help spur you on. However, stress can also be debilitating.

If you find your mind just can’t switch off (and not because you keep watching cat videos – guilty) then this can be harmful to your health. Intense feelings of stress can stop people from sleeping, increase tension and anxiety, cause stomach pains and headaches all the way to losing interest in food or eating more than usual.

When your body feels like this, then you can throw all hope of revision and retaining information out of the window.

But, there are simple steps to take during exam season to look after your mental health and study.

WELLBEING

Firstly, look after number one: you.

Set yourself a schedule of what to revise and when, or even what coursework to finish. Working deadlines can seem scare – here at Source HQ we do it every day! But deadlines can help you prioritise what is more urgent meaning you don’t spend lots of time working on something that doesn’t need to be handed in for weeks, forgetting about your test in two days’ time.

Now, that’s sure to be a stressful discovery.

There are many apps available online that can help you organise coursework and take mental health checks. From Headspace – which takes you through five-minute or 20-minute meditation sessions – or myHomework Student Planner – here you can track everything from your classes, homework deadlines to project meetings. What’s not to love?

Don’t forget there are people in your inner circle sure to provide guidance, too.

SUPPORT

Remember: everyone wants you to be successful. However, burning yourself to the ground won’t be good for you or anyone else in the long run.

If you are feeling overwhelmed at any point make sure to ask a teacher you trust or your guidance teacher for a quick chat. Even offloading your worries to one person for ten minutes will make the world of difference – trust us.

Or get your friends together and have an evening or an hour away from revision to chat about life, your new favourite album or TV show to take your mind off of exams.

Exams are not the end of the world – even though it might feel like it now!

Another top tip: when coming out of an exam, avoid dissecting the test paper. You and your friends might have put down the same answer or a different one, who knows who is right? The exam marker, that’s who.

For extra help, contact YoungMinds and Student Minds for free, confidential advice.

You’ve done all you can and it’s time to relax and enjoy the summer. Keep your eyes peeled for our Results Day guide in August.

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