While exam stress is an unavoidable part of a student’s life, a person should seek help if it starts to interfere with everyday life.
The first weeks of December mark the beginning of exam season for post-secondary students across the province as another semester concludes. While exam stress is an unavoidable part of a student’s life, a person should seek help if it starts to interfere with everyday life.
Common symptoms of stress include feelings of exhaustion and fatigue, irritability, excessive worry or anxiety, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, headaches and/or muscle tension.
If you or someone you care about is having difficulty managing exam stress, share the following tips
- Be prepared. By anticipating stress, you can prepare for it. Develop a pre-exam plan that includes eating a well-balanced meal, arriving early, staying away from people who may agitate you, avoiding caffeinated beverages and taking deep breaths.
- Take a time out. Studies show that taking breaks to exercise, meditate, sleep or drink a glass of water can yield better study outcomes than pushing through without a break.
- Breathe. Deep breathing while you’re studying can help ease tension, de-clutter your mind and improve focus. Watch this video on how to deep breathe.
- Eat and sleep properly. Avoid the unhealthy foods and energy drinks you may be craving and opt for healthy snacks instead, such as tuna and crackers, fruit, a sandwich or a hard-boiled egg. In addition, ensure you are well-rested in advance of exam day.
If you or someone you care about is affected by stress, seek help by visiting your family doctor or a walk-in clinic. You may also want to check out self-help tools for your symptoms on foundrybc.ca.
If immediate support is required, call the Fraser Health Crisis Line at (604) 951-8855 or visit your nearest Emergency Department.
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