The months are looming were revision becomes a daily routine and the stress is piling up as it’s not long till exams, everything may seem like its getting to much. Don’t get me wrong exams and the stress that follows with it is not what we need.
Revision and exams can start to feel daunting because you’re constantly doing it every minute of everyday till your exams start, but the thing that is important to remember is that you’re not alone, many of us go through this and while it may seem like its really hard now, you just have to think that once the exams are done that’s it and you can relax, just try your best and don’t be to hard on yourself and most importantly know when to take a break.
It can often create feelings of worry and being under pressure. However there are a range of things you can do to help you deal with the stress you might be feeling!
Watch out for signs of stress
Children and young people who experience stress may:
- Worry a lot
- Be irritable
- Loose interest in food or eat more than normal
- Not enjoy activities they previously enjoyed
- Seem negative and low
- Feel tense
- Get lots of headaches and stomach pains
- Not sleep very well
- Seem hopeless about the future
Having someone to talk to is always key when you’re coping with stress and you’re worried about upcoming exams, its ok to ask for help if it eases your mind. Confide in your parents, tutor or perhaps a study buddy, it can help share worries and keep things into perspective.
If you’re a parent and are worried about your child try and get them to talk to a member of staff who they may feel is supportive or if that doesn’t work, it could be helpful for you to talk to their teachers, try and get involved with your child as much as possible.
Make sure you eat well and drink plenty!
A balanced diet is vital for a young person’s health, its vital for anyone really, it can help them to feel good during exam periods and give them more energy and strength.
The best thing to do is avoid sugary drinks, especially energy drinks even though they’re supposed to make you get that sudden boost of energy, they can for a little while, but then you can crash from them and it can make you tired and moody, which means you’re less likely to revise. Try and avoid sweets, chocolates and high fat foods, as these can often make you feel lethargic and irritable.
Instead, drink lots of water it can help your brain function better, keep you feeling fuller for longer so you’re not just snacking on unnecessary foods and it can be beneficial in many ways. Eat healthy alternative snacks, have some fruit, get some vitamin C in your system, which will make you feel more engaged!
If you’re a parent and are concerned by what your child may eat and you feel like it could be affecting their mood and leads them to not feel like revising, introduce healthier foods and try and cut out the bad ones, even though kids can be very stubborn at times, it’ll definitely help. Give them a nutritious breakfast, get them to drink more water to keep hydrated! Read this for more advice.
Get enough sleep!
Good sleep is something we all need, often when we have broken sleep it can mean the day after could be filled with moodiness and procrastination, we all know when we’ve had a good sleep when we wake up and feel like we could take on literally anything.
It will improve thinking and concentration, most young people need at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night. The best thing to do is leave yourself half an hour to wind down before going to sleep at night. Watching TV or perhaps reading a book will help, often having a relaxing bath before you sleep can help you get a good nights rest.
Don’t cram all your revision in one night, this is not a good idea. Sleep will benefit you a lot more than a few hours of panicky last-minute revision. Make sure you separate it over the weeks and make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to have a breather too.
If your a parent, the best thing to do is make sure that half an hour before they sleep you take their phones or any others forms of technology away, to ensure a good night sleep, even though they may dislike you for it it’s very beneficial. Read this to see how much sleep a child needs.
Know what is expected of you!
If you’re not clear on anything, don’t be afraid to ask. Teachers would much rather answer questions than have their students proceed without understanding what is expected. Make sure you have read the syllabus and any information your teacher has given you before asking the question.
Reward your achievements, no matter how small!
If you’re feeling stressed about an exam, be sure to reward yourself for your study time. This will motivate you to continue studying and may even help reduce stress. For example, after studying hard for an hour, take a break and watch an episode of your favourite show, then go back into the revising, having a breather will help you feel better. Go out for a walk if you fancy getting a bit of fresh air, it will help you feel less stressed and have more of a clear mind when it comes back to revising.
If your a parent these tips will be beneficial for you and your child:
Make sure that your child has somewhere comfortable to study, ask them if there is any way you can support them with their revision. Ask them if they need help coming up with practical ideas that will help them revise, this could be drawing up a revision schedule or practising a past paper.
To help with motivation, encourage your child to think about their goals in life and see how their revision and exams are related to them.
Talk about exam nerves
Don’t forget to remind your child that feeling anxious is normal. Nervousness is a natural reaction to exams. If anxiety seems to be getting in the way rather than helping, encourage your child to practise the sort of activities they will be doing on the day of the exam. This will help it feel less scary on the day.
You could help them by practising papers under exam style conditions or perhaps if they’re really nervous get them to see the exam hall beforehand. Encourage them to think through what they do know and the time they have already put into studying to help them feel more confident.
Don’t add to much pressure
Listen to your child, give them support and avoid criticism. Before they go in for the test of exam, be reassuring and positive. Tell them to just try their best, that is all they can do. See Childline’s advice on exam stress and pressure.
Exams can be daunting, but with these simple tips you can help ease your mind and help yourself feel better when revising so you do not have so much worry on your shoulders and you can go into your exams feeling a little less stressed!
Always know that if you can’t cope, then to reach out to perhaps a doctor or counsellor who can help you with different strategies and hopefully get you feeling better.