Revising for exams (and sitting for them!) is definitely one of the most unpleasant activities in the history of ever: you’re under pressure to do well, you’re stressing because of the pressure and your stress is showing in the form of acne, making you feel unsightly (which leads to more stress!).
So how can you stop this endless cycle of stress and be the bright ray of sunshine you deserve to be?
Here are 5 suggestions on how to channel positive vibes into your study sessions.
#1. Give your brain short breaks
Exam revision means staying in a constant state of focus, which isn’t actually good for your brain. While we understand that it’s important to memorise mathematical formulas or learn all about the body’s anatomy, it’s also important to allow your mind to have short rests in between studying.
Studies have suggested that applying the Pomodoro Technique when studying greatly improves your concentration and increases productivity. This technique involves breaking down your work into a series of timed tasks with short breaks in between.
For example, you could take a 10-minute break for every hour of solid studying. Not only will this help you ease your mind, but it’ll also aid in avoiding distractions like glancing at your phone, as you would save that for your upcoming break.
#2. Trick yourself into thinking about other things
Picture this — you’ve just come out of an extremely tough Mathematics paper. You know that the following exam, Chemistry Paper 2, is going to be equally hard, but you still have a few hours to review your notes before entering the exam hall. However, you simply can’t stop stressing about the Maths paper and how badly you’ve messed up — it’s impossible to concentrate on Chemistry!
Just like getting rid of an annoying song that’s stuck in your head, you can stop worrying about your Maths exam by thinking of something else that’s positive.
Take a breather and distract yourself with random thoughts like deciding on the best Marvel movie or if Wonder Woman could beat Captain Marvel in battle. Hmmm… Once you’ve distracted yourself and banished the negative thoughts from your mind, you can focus on what’s to come!
#3. Indulge yourself occasionally
Even though exam season isn’t the best time for some rest and relaxation, taking some time to indulge in yourself can actually help with motivation levels.
From fixing your own quick face mask to catching an episode of Bob’s Burgers, try out some of these quick and relaxing activities during your study break to ensure that your brain is getting the rest it deserves.
You may feel like self-care is a luxury during this hectic period and may even feel guilty for not utilising the time to study, but it can prevent the possibility of a burnout and avoid you from being tempted with unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drugs, alcohol and overeating.
#4. Take a quick cat nap
It can be exhausting moving from book to book during revision time. Instead of chugging down a gallon of coffee, keep your brain refreshed by taking a quick 30-minute nap.
Research has suggested that naps can actually help boost your memory and enhance your creativity. They can also aid in keeping you alert as well as improving your decision-making skills by giving you a surge of energy, hence the name power nap.
So go ahead and get those zzz’s!
#5. Keep your eye on the prize
Lastly, you can stay positive during the exam period by looking at the bigger picture. Keep reminding yourself that once you’ve buckled down and studied smart, you’ll be more than prepared for your exams, so you don’t need to stress about it.
You can also start thinking of ways to relieve post-exam stress once your exams are over. This can come in different forms, be it indulging in some retail therapy or simply staying home to catch up on all the shows you’ve missed. Think of it as a major reward for yourself after going through one of the most challenging experiences in your academic life!
Remember that some stress can be good for you as it helps you perform faster and more effectively. However, excessive stress can be a psychological barrier to success, so be kind to yourself and allow a bit of positivity into your life. Remember, the glass is always half full.