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How to stay calm and positive during exam season

Image Credit: Kinga Cichewicz

Molly Fairclough, 1st Mar 2020
Tags: Life Blog Education Exams Mental health Stress

This time of year is great for many reasons: days are getting longer, mornings are getting brighter, and it’s finally not freezing all the time.

However, with these positive changes also comes one pretty big negative: exam season.

Whether it’s GCSEs, A Levels, University exams, or dissertations, it’s safe to say this is a pretty stressful time of year.

You need to relax
Image Credit: Giphy

So, with all of the essays and revision cards, how do you stay calm?

To be honest, I don’t really know, but here’s a few things that help me: 

Have a morning routine

Your morning routine doesn’t have to start at 5 am and consist of a green smoothie to be a healthy lifestyle change. It can just be waking up a bit earlier, taking time to make breakfast, and spending some time thinking about something other than revision for a while.

Start the day on a relaxed note.

For me, this looks like waking up at 8 am, making toast and coffee, and watching The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network. This may seem insignificant, but it really helps me start the day on a relaxed note. 

Breakfast pancakes
Image Credit: Giphy

Listen to podcasts

During revision breaks, it can be really tempting to just sit on your phone and scroll. It’s easy, it’s convenient, and it’s fun, but it’s not actually very relaxing.

One thing I love to do is listen to podcasts. Even if it’s just on my walk to Uni, or while I’m doing my food shop, listening to podcasts helps my mind de-stress. 

Light-hearted entertainment will make you laugh.

Here are some of my favourites:

  • Jenna & Julien Podcast: this is perfect for stupid, light-hearted entertainment that will make you laugh out loud in public. 
  • Armchair Expert with Dad Shepard: if you’re into movies, this podcast offers tons of funny, in-depth interviews with your favourite actors and directors, etc.
  • Happy Place: I have loved Ferne Cotton since she was on CBBC, and this podcast does not disappoint. Ferne’s interesting, thought-provoking conversations with guests like Jada Pinkett Smith and Katie Piper are guaranteed to leave you feeling uplifted and relaxed.
  • Life Chats with Liv B: This podcast is hosted by one of my favourite YouTubers, Liv B. Her videos are always a go-to if I want to unwind, and her podcast has the same relaxing effect. She talks about ‘life’, as the title suggests, and gives practical tips on how to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Going for a walk and listening to a podcast
Image Credit: Giphy

Use your time wisely

One important thing in managing stress is making a clear distinction between your work and your downtime.

This means that you can give your full attention to your work, and also be fully relaxed during your time off.

Separate your work from your time of rest.

A good way to do this is to move locations. Do your work in one space and relax in another. This helps you to fully separate your work from your time of rest.

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Rest is something that God really emphasises in the Bible. In a world that encourages us to always be working, God urges us to take time to find rest, and rest in him.

In the Bible, he says, “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).

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