Oh no. It’s study season and students everywhere are feeling the pressure. If you’re overwhelmed with upcoming exams, don’t worry, you’re in the right place. Take a deep breath, and we’ll help you stay calm, cool, and collected during exam stress.
Why do we get stressed?
The first step to coping with stress is to know why we get stressed in the first place. You see, stress is a physiological reaction to an external event or thought. It preps the brain and body to ‘fight or flight’ the stressor.
According to a phenomenon known as the ‘Yerk-Dodson-Law’, our performance and focus increase with the physiological and mental arousal stress brings. To a certain point, that is. When stress becomes overwhelming, our performance decreases, and our mental and physical health takes a hit. It’s like a bell shape, and the aim is to stay at the highest point.
So how do you keep the balance when exams are coming at you left, right, and centre?
Exam stress: 5 tips to calm the nerves
- Get enough sleep (seriously!)
Let’s begin with the one we all love to ignore. While it might be tempting to pull an energy-drink fuelled all-nighter during exam season, a lack of sleep can impact your ability to focus and retain information. It’s not a smart move. There’s a bit of catch-22 when it comes to sleep and stress, though, as stress can also make it more difficult to nod off. In this post, we covered some ways to reduce the impact of stress on your sleep. You might like to try our Sleep Better Pillow Mist too; spritz the dreamy blend of Lavender, Sandalwood, and Jasmine onto your bed linen after a day of studying, and your mind will start to unwind.
- Put it in perspective
When you’re at school or university it can feel like exams are everything. It’s comforting to remind yourself that there’s a whole world on the other side of the exam hall waiting for you!
Young Minds shares lots of nuggets of wisdom to help put exam season into perspective, for example:
You’ve already achieved so much and will achieve more. If need be, these exams can be redone. Creating an immense amount of stress for yourself may lead to things which can’t be undone. Look after yourself first.
Why not take time to write down all the things you like about yourself or are proud of, outside of academic achievements?
- Break it down
Ever wonder how those super-organised-folder-and-notes kinds of folks do it? They break the workload down into manageable chunks, that’s how. Start by working out what exams you have, how much you need to learn for each one, and how much you can manage (realistically!) each day. When you’ve set out the steps for success, you’ll feel a lot more confident that you can achieve it.
Then it’s all about focus. Psychologists say we can only concentrate properly for 30-40 minutes at a time, and you may have heard of the Pomodoro Technique encourages 25 minutes of intense focus with a 5-minute brain break. To stay on task, try applying our Find Focus Roller Ball to your pulse points. The invigorating blend of Rosemary, Grapefruit, and Orange Leaf will keep your mind sharp and motivated.
- Cut-out comparison
All this exam talk can be tough, can’t it? Knowing how much other people are studying, what grades they get, and how they found the paper, can make it feel like a competition. Remember that all you need to do is your best. That’s going to look different from everyone else, but as long as you finish knowing you did what you could (without sacrificing your health and happiness) then you can trust you’ve done enough.
- Take time to unwind (and don’t feel guilty about it!)
Wake-up call: resting, and feeling guilty about it, isn’t very restful. Make sure you take time to unwind where you truly switch off. Do something fun to take your mind off work. This will help you refresh for the next study sesh and help you study more efficiently. When you’re struggling to take the pressure off, add a couple of drops of our Mind Clear Diffuser Oil to your Aroma Spa. The revitalising blend of Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemon will lighten the load and sharpen the mind.
Good luck from Tisserand Aromatherapy!
We’re sure you’ll smash it.