Dealing with exam stress

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Whenever exam times come rolling around, as they inevitably do, many teenagers and young adults feel they are facing a daunting time.  They feel the severe pressures of an overload of work, too little time and a looming future ‘disaster’ if they fail to perform well. While a bit of stress, from time to time, can help us hone our concentration and deliver a peak performance, continuous stress, like that experienced during exam time can have the complete opposite effect.  Too much stress can place you at risk of other health problems, like depression, sleep problems and weight gain. (1) An over-stressed student will be unable to perform at their true capacity.  Therefore, it is essential to be mindful of the overall well-being of your child during exam time, and to support them in maintaining a healthy balance during this demanding time in their young lives. Of course if you are the student – this applies to you as well.

Here are five tips to cope with exams: (2)

  1. Stick to the plan. Plan the work and work the plan. Devise and stick to a reasonable study plan. Break the work down into manageable chunks with time deadlines for each. Daily monitoring of progress and evaluation will help highlight shortfalls so that you can adjust the plan accordingly.
  2. Stay active. Plan to have regular physical exercise every day. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins in the body which help us relax, and feel stronger and more positive.
  3. Stay away from distractions. These include things like noise, electronics and friends. If you indulge in your distractions, it only leads to more stress as the time gets less and less and the work gets more and more.
  4. Take a Vitamin B [LINK TO VITAMIN B COMPLEX] supplement – to provide the range of essential B vitamins that are essential for the support of optimum nervous system health. (3)
  5. Take all the help you can get – There is an array of practitioners from traditional psychotherapy professionals and education specialists to meditation teachers and holistic healers to draw on if your child (or you) needs support in managing exam stress.
  6. Sleep well. Good sleep encourages good concentration and thinking.
  7. Eat well. A balanced diet will help keep you healthy during the stresses of exam times.

Reference: 1. Mayo Clinic. Chronic stress puts your health at risk. [online] 2016 [cited 2017 October 19]. Available from: URL: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037. 2. NHS choices. Help your child deal with exam stress. Stress, Anxiety and depression. [online] [cited 2017 Oct 20]. Available from: URL: https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/Coping-with-exam-stress.aspx. 3. Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. Special Report, July 2009. Vitamins and Minerals. What You Should Know About Essential Nutrients. [online] [cited 2015 October 18]. Available from: URL: http://www.mayoclinic.org/documents/mc5129-0709-sp-rpt-pdf/doc-20079085.

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