For some university students, preparing for exams can be an absolute breeze. But for many others, SWOT week and exam periods can perhaps be best expressed by Eminem’s lyrical prowess: His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy / There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti.
Cramming for papers and burning the midnight oil might help bump your grade point average up, but managing stress and taking care of yourself during this busy period is just as essential. Too much pressure, and you might start feeling tired, anxious, and a whole host of other physical and emotional symptoms, which is pretty much the last thing you need when trying to revise.
Some quick ways to de-stress and centre your mind include deep breathing exercises or listening to soothing music. But to really bring those exam stress levels down, here are a few things you can try:
No, not one of those five-minute snack or toilet breaks. A full-on, unplug-your-brain-from-everything-and-rest sort of break. Close your laptop, get out of your student apartment and give yourself one night off in Australia — you deserve it.
It can be as simple as having dinner with friends at a restaurant you like, watching a movie, or trying any of these fun things to do in Adelaide. Or, if you’re in Melbourne, why not visit somewhere like The Break Room to smash and bash your stress away? Allowing yourself to have fun and relax will do wonders for your mental wellbeing and help you feel refreshed and energised to hit the books again.
Stress can lead to insomnia and difficulty sleeping, yet getting sufficient sleep can alleviate stress. It’s truly a vicious cycle. However, a good night’s rest is vital for productivity as sleep helps boost concentration and memory.
It can be hard to “shut down” your brain after hours of staring at your books or screen. Consider giving yourself a cut-off time to stop studying and start winding down for bed by turning off your electronics or taking a warm shower. Try your best to go to bed at the same time every day as that helps set your body’s internal clock and improve your sleep quality.
Messy room, messy mind. Don’t underestimate the impact that a clean, neat study space can have in relieving stress and increasing your productivity! Before you even get started on exam revisions, do a once-over clean of your university housing and organise your study materials neatly. Or, if you’re not up for cleaning, head out to study somewhere else like a library or quiet cafe. Y Suites residents can grab a spot at one of the many conducive study spaces available in our student accommodation in Australia!
On top of your physical environment, it also helps plan out your schedule and break down big tasks into smaller ones so you won’t feel too overwhelmed at the number of things you have to get through.
You’ve heard it all before, time and time again — drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet. It’s easy to say but hard to actually put into practice when you’ve got university exams looming over you. Physical activity and healthy eating have stress-relieving benefits, clearing your mind and giving you the energy your body and brain need.
A little bit of effort goes a long way, so start small. Try taking a 15-minute walk around your neighbourhood, or follow a yoga YouTube video. Say no to the temptation of instant noodles; if cooking every day is too troublesome, you can consider easy meal-prep recipes that you prepare ahead of time so you’re all set for the week.
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