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How to deal with exam/deadline stress

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It’s that time of year again where student faces resemble this guy.

 

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If you can relate, then don’t panic! We’re here to help you deal with the most stressful time of the academic year. We promise that by the end of this article you’ll feel prepared to tackle your stress, even if you’re not quite prepared for that essay yet…

 

Accept that it’s okay.

 

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If you’re getting worked up over your deadlines, that’s perfectly normal. It means you care about doing well, and that’s a good thing. Sometimes a little bit of stress can work to our advantage – but not too much! If you can accept that what you’re feeling is normal, it can alleviate the worries you might have about being stressed, and help you start to have a positive mind-set.

 

Make time for yourself.

 

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With all the work you’ve been putting in to your assignments and exam revision, you have probably forgotten about yourself. Make sure you’re looking after yourself, and that means having some down time. Even if it’s just an hour of watching TV before bed, make sure you look after number one – especially when you’re so stressed out.

 

Relax!

 

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This is definitely easier said than done. But we recommend you at least try to chill out when you’re feeling stressed. The week 23rd April to 27th April is De-Stress Fest, and will be full of activities to help you chill out, and forget about your deadlines for a little while. If you haven’t tried meditation or mindfulness before, this is definitely something to consider.

 

Eat well and drink plenty.

 

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By drink plenty we don’t mean head to the pub! Nourish your body with the food it needs and plenty of water, and it will thank you! You’ll start feeling better straight away. When we’re stressed, we tend to crave junk food. But you should try and maintain a healthy diet whenever you can to fuel your body up for the intense work you’re putting it through leading up to your deadlines and exams.

 

Make time to see your friends.

 

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It probably feels like you have no time to sleep, never mind seeing your friends. But you really should try to see your friends if you can, even if you decide to study together. Seeing your friends will put a smile on your face, and make you feel happy. And happiness is the secret to reducing stress.

 

Get out of your room!

 

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It’s so easy to fall into the trap of hiding away in your room to study day in day out. But that’s not healthy. Staring at the same four walls for a long period can add to stress and depression levels. Try and get outside. Even if you just go for a brisk walk around the block, getting outside into the sunshine can have massively positive effects on your mental health.

 

Get some exercise in.

 

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This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to run a marathon or take up an intense sport, unless that’s your jam then absolutely go for it! Exercise can be as simple as a short walk. If you’re really pushed for time, you could just jump around every so often when you take a break from your work. Dance in your room to your favourite music. Join a sports society – whatever it is you want to do. Moving around gets the endorphins flowing; endorphins make us happy, which will reduce stress.

 

Work out your weaknesses.

 

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Sometimes the best way to tackle stress is head on. What exactly is it you’re worrying about? Maybe it’s something practical you can work on. For example, you might be worried about whether you can write your answer in a given timeframe, in which case you could practice. Or perhaps it’s something you can get support from your tutors on. No matter what it is, working on what you’re finding challenging might be the best way forward.

 

Recognise that there is only so much you can do.

 

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At the end of the day, there is only so much time between now and your final deadline or exam date. You can only do your best, and your best is awesome! Don’t put yourself down over it – focus on what you have achieved, and try to maintain a positive frame of mind when writing assignments or going into exams. It can change everything!

 

You are awesome, and we believe in you – now go smash it!

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