Overcoming Exam Stress

Happy Monday! I was so surprised by the positive feedback I got on my previous lifestyle post So you've had a bad day.. last week that I decided to make posts like these a regular thing. I'm not usually the biggest mental health advocate. I actually don't talk about it at all really, but I'm always surprised by the response I get when I do. There's not a lot of tools available for people my age when it comes to mental health, so I've decided to start a Mental Health Monday's series. Every Monday, you'll find me here, sharing tips and advice on all things mental health that I've picked up over the past 20 years.

1. Get enough sleep
Whether it's exam season or not, I can't function without at least 6 hours sleep. While it might seem like everyone is staying up studying long after midnight, that doesn't mean that you have to too. Look after your body. Even though staying up late might make you feel like you're learning more, it's unlikely that you'll be able to perform well in an exam without enough sleep.

2. Be pro-active about your problems
If you're struggling with a question, or can't quite understand an exam topic, try not to get upset about it. Everyone learns at a different pace. Ask one of your friends, tutors or even a lecturer for some guidance. Problems won't solve themselves, and the longer you leave them sitting on your desk, the more time you'll spend worrying about them.

3. Accept that not everything will go your way, and keep working anyway
Sometimes it can be almost impossible to learn everything for an exam. If you're running out of time, you should try to break down your material, ordering it into what's most likely to come up on your exam. If something is taking you too long to learn, it might be worthwhile to move on to something else, coming back to it when you have more time. 

4. Ask for help when you need it 
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether you're looking for more information about your exam or a shoulder to cry on, there is always someone there to talk to, even when it doesn't feel like it. Whether it's a friend, a family member or even a college counsellor, if you need a helping hand, all you need to do is ask.

5. Don't be too hard on yourself
Nobody is perfect, and we're all guilty of being a little bit too harsh on ourselves sometimes. Once you've finished an exam, try not to think about it too much. At the end of the day, nothing you do afterwards will change what you wrote during your exam. Stay positive, and stay hopeful. There's nothing more you can do than your best. 

Until tomorrow,

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