Am I stressed?
It’s important to acknowledge that it is normal to feel under pressure or stressed during the assessment season. For some the stress becomes unmanageable and recognising this in yourself, or others, may not be as easy as you think.
Some temporary effects of stress include: lack of concentration, inability to sleep, difficulty in processing information and irritability. Stress suppresses your immune system so you're more likely to catch a cold or feel under the weather, which doesn't help your performance in exams. In high levels or if the stress continues for a lengthy period of time, stress can lead to mental health problems e.g. panic attacks, depression or anxiety. It’s important to act as soon as possible if you are feeling stressed.
The NHS Choices website has some very useful information so do check this out too.
How can I reduce my stress levels?
Avoid turning to alcohol or drugs to suppress the way you feel. Eating a healthy diet and getting some exercise can make a world of difference. Giving yourself some time out away from your study is important. We all need a break once in a while. You may then find that when you go back to study your mind is clearer and refreshed.
Take care of yourself. Ensure you have a balanced diet and at least one hot meal a day. The NHS Choices Eat Well Guide is an interactive tool to help you eat well. Try and get at least 6 hours sleep a night. Having a bath or reading a book (not course related) before bed can help you switch off. The NHS Choices website has some excellent advice and tips.
Taking a walk, going for a jog or hitting the gym for 20 mins can help you manage the pressures of student life. SportBU and SUBU Clubs and Societies have lots of things to offer. Having a break away from your desk to do hobbies is also beneficial.
Organisation can be the key to success. When completing a revision plan/diary block in your breaks first and put your study around the breaks. Plan in time to go for a walk, do your food shop and be with friends. You’re allowed a life!
Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They also campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Mind has a designated page on their website for students which give tips for everyday living. Ensure you check this out.
Manage your stress on exam day
Don’t forget to check out the BU website for further advice and top tips. .
If you feel that your exam stress is affecting your health or your relationships are suffering, it would be beneficial to seek some help. You can talk to the Chaplaincy (01202 965383) or contact the Wellbeing Service (01202 965020) both of which are based in Talbot House. If these services are closed you may wish to access support via Mind (Dial: 0300 123 3393, text: 86463) or the Samaritans (Dial: 116 123).