Exams can be a source of stress for many students, and it's completely understandable. The pressure to perform well, comparison with friends or siblings and the fear of failure can be overwhelming, causing anxiety and sleepless nights. From essays and assignments to tests and exams, these can all pose a challenging and nervous time.
While stress is a normal part of the exam experience, there are ways to manage it effectively and make you feel more in control, balanced and equipped to give your best efforts for the best results.
Rescue®, the Australian number one emotional wellbeing brand, has teamed up with Chloe Brotheridge, hypnotherapist, coach and author of ‘The Anxiety Solution’ to provide some top tips on how to keep on top of the exam period, while remaining calm and focused.
1. Have a wind-down routine: Getting enough sleep is vital to performing at your best, but late-night study sessions can mean your brain is wide awake at bedtime, and it's hard to switch off. Having a simple wind-down routine can help. If possible, try to avoid screens for an hour or two before bed and incorporate a couple of simple techniques to help you to unwind. That might include having a few drops of RESCUE Remedy®, reading a book unrelated to your studies, doing some yoga stretches or sipping hot milk. Creating a regular routine helps signal to your body and mind that it's time for sleep.
2. Keep your blood sugar levels balanced: Did you know that a dip in our blood sugar levels can make us feel stressed or even panicky? Including some protein with every meal and snack slows the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream, resulting in more balanced blood sugar levels. That might look like having eggs on toast for breakfast, Bolognese sauce with pasta for lunch, nuts with dried fruit or humous and veggie sticks as a snack and dhal with rice and curry for dinner.
3. Use scent to enhance your focus: Certain scents, such as peppermint or rosemary, could help improve cognitive function and enhance focus. Others, such as lavender, are good for calming stress and anxiety. You could use essential oils during your study sessions by putting a few drops on a tissue and smelling it or adding them to a diffuser.
4. Try acupressure: Stimulating specific pressure points on your body, such as the space between your thumb and index finger, can help to reduce stress and help with things like tension headaches. Feel into the little groove right at the base of your thumb and index finger on the back of your hand. Apply firm pressure for a minute or two. It could be a great thing to do during an exam to calm and ground you.
5. Listen to white noise: Listening to white noise, such as the sound of rain or waves crashing, can help to block out distractions and create a calming atmosphere. Some people even find that they can focus and relax more when there is background noise, such as the sounds of a bustling cafe. If going to a cafe to work isn't practical or possible, you can find cafe background noises by searching 'Coffee Shop Sounds' on YouTube.
6. Natural remedies like RESCUE Remedy® can be used as a complementary approach to manage exam stress. RESCUE Remedy is a flower essence blend created to help in times of emotional demand. It contains five flower essences: Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose, and Star of Bethlehem. Try their soothing pastilles for a handy way to calm your nerves on exam day.
Chloe Brotheridge is hypnotherapist, mentor and coach at www.calmer-you.com and the host of The Calmer You Podcast. She’s the author of The Anxiety Solution and The Confidence Solution.
The original RESCUE Remedy® in the iconic little yellow bottle has provided support in times of emotional demand to millions around the world for generations and is still made using the original methods developed by Dr Bach over 80 years ago. Specially blended from five individual Bach® essences; Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem and Cherry Plum, with the addition of White Chestnut in the night range, RESCUE® offers a wide range of natural products for consumers’ emotional wellbeing, day and night.
RESCUE, RESCUE REMEDY and the Bach signature are registered trademarks of Bach Flower Remedies Limited.