Exams can cause a great deal of stress for both young people and adults too. Whether it’s your GCSE’s, your exams for a degree or an exam to help you develop your career, the whole process can result in feelings of anxiety and an inability to concentrate.
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.
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
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.
How to cope with exam stress
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!
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.
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 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.
What to expect
Counselling for exam stress is one way to tackle the issues brought on by assessments. My sessions provide you with a secure environment in which to talk through your worries and find useful ways to cope with the pressure.
Therapy for exam stress is about identifying the things that trigger your anxiety about assessments and discovering how to manage those feelings. You’ll have space to explore why you are feeling stressed, or to simply express the thoughts and emotions that you are experiencing.
Perhaps you have been predicted certain grades and are struggling to meet your school or college’s expectations, or perhaps you worry about feeling like you’ve failed. My sessions are about enabling you to talk freely without being judged and find ways of coping that work for you. I won’t share any information with parents or teachers without your permission.
Together we can ascertain the everyday stress management methods that suit you. It may be simple changes such as eating or sleeping better, taking more breaks or spending time with friends helps, or you may need something more structured such as guided meditation. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to manage exam stress, so focus on what feels right for you.
To book a session or find out more about counselling for exam stress, contact me today on 07510 495791 or email email@example.com.