Exam periods are usually the most stressful time of the school session. Most students experience burnout at this stage and suffer from exam stress which hampers their performance.
Exams can stress mental health in several ways, including:
- Pressure to perform: The pressure to perform well and meet expectations can cause anxiety and stress.
- Time constraints: The limited time to complete exams can create a sense of urgency and stress.
- Uncertainty: The uncertainty of exam outcomes can cause worry and negative thoughts.
- Lack of sleep: Staying up late to study or feeling anxious can result in poor sleep, affecting mental health.
- Isolation: Spending excessive time studying or taking exams can result in social isolation, leading to loneliness and depression.
As you might already know, exams can be a stressful and overwhelming time, but taking care of your mental health is crucial for success.
To ensure the stability of your mental health during this period, this helpful blog post will explore some practical tips on how to maintain your mental health during exams
How To Maintain Your Mental Health During Exams
Maintaining good mental health allows you to approach exams with a clear and positive mindset, leading to improved performance. Here are some pointers on how to maintain mental health during exams.
1. Draft out a plan
One of the practical mental health tips for exams is to get a plan of how you desire to go about studying for your papers.
In the plan, you can decide on the amount of time you will allocate to studying each subject and the duration of breaks you will take.
Although creating a plan might seem to be stressful, it is worth it. Without a plan, you won’t have a direction for what you are doing. You will end up trying to go over everything at the same time, and in the end, you catch exam stress, and this affects your memory and performance.
2. Take breaks between studying
Studying and writing for exams without taking real breaks can hamper your brain efficiency. A study has shown that taking breaks between 5 to 60 minutes can improve your productivity, energy, and ability to focus.
The breaks can be in various forms. It can be closing your study books and taking a short walk to expose your brain to the fresh air to cool off.
Also, it can be like taking some time off to watch something on Netflix or doing something you like. Do understand that reading without going on breaks will hamper your brain capacity.
3. Join a study group
The exam season will become easier to go by when you have a solid study group. A study group keeps you motivated and gives you the emotional backing you need to reignite and maintain your zeal.
Trying to go through the exam period alone can sometimes break you down. On the other hand, joining a study group reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness, as well as providing a support system.
By participating in a study group, you can gain a sense of belonging and community, which can boost your confidence and reduce stress
4. Attend to your bodily needs
You can be studying and writing your exams and forget that you need to take water, eat or rest.
Listen to your body as you prepare for exams. When you are hungry, pause and go and eat. Don’t use caffeine to avoid sleep. Pause, close that book, and sleep if you are feeling sleepy.
The exam period is not a war period, so avoid being tense and neglecting your bodily needs. When you don’t eat properly, take enough after and rest, and you might collapse during this period or catch exam stress that will frustrate your efforts.
5. Learn to seek help when you are nerves are getting out of control
It is normal to be a little tensed or stressed during this period, but when it is getting out of control, you need to seek help.
Check in with yourself regularly to see if your nerves are calm or overly tense. If you are tense, try reaching out to someone. It can be a friend, family, coursemate, lecturer, or therapist.
The fact is that you can’t properly do well in the exam hall with a tense nerve. The faster you seek help and get calm, the better it is for your exam success.
6. Get enough sleep
While it might seem better to reduce your sleep time to read harder during exams, it’s actually best to get enough sleep.
Getting enough sleep is important for mental health during exams because it helps to improve focus and concentration. Adequate sleep helps consolidate memories, making it easier to recall information during an exam.
Sleeping well can also help regulate hormones and reduce stress levels, which can improve overall well-being.
7. Stay positive
Staying positive during exams can reduce stress and anxiety because having a positive outlook will help minimize negative thoughts and stress levels, which can improve overall well-being.
Furthermore, being optimistic can boost your motivation and confidence. You will have increased motivation, confidence, and be able approach exams with a more relaxed and confident state of mind.
Maintaining good mental health during exams can be a challenge, but it is important to prioritize self-care. By developing a study schedule, staying physically active, eating well, getting enough sleep, connecting with friends and family, and seeking help when needed, you can help ensure that your mind is in a healthy state.