This is a post for all you people in college or even high school. We all know how stressful tests are, but when you have 4 or 5 tests that take up a big percentage of your grade, its absolute craziness. I know that I get extremely stressed and anxious, and sometimes I even have a panic attack while taking the test! Here are some of my strategies to get through midterm and finals week with a little less negative stress.
- All stress isn’t bad stress- yes, you heard me right! Stress is sometimes a good thing! It motivates you to study, to do your homework, and to have a drive to succeed. But too much stress is what we call “bad stress”. When we have too much stress, it can do the exact opposite. It can make you study too much or not at all due to extreme emotions, it can make you dwell on things and obsess over them in non healthy ways. We need to learn how to balance this type of stress, which is not easy. Trust me.
- Do yoga/meditate- When I study, I do 30 minutes of focused work, and 5 to 10 minutes of meditation and listening to music. It helps me to stay in the moment and relax when I am starting to stress too much. Stressing to much when you are studying doesn’t help you. For me, it makes me cry and want to go to sleep and stop studying. So taking these breaks to meditate and to stay in the moment, really helps me to not get to that point of despair.
- Don’t pull an all nighter!- You may here people saying, “I studied all night long and got no sleep”. This doesn’t help you! While it may seem to work for some people, it doesn’t. Getting sleep fuels your brain with the stuff it needs to function. I’m no doctor, but I can tell you from experience, a tired and stressed test taker, is not a good one! When I pulled an all nighter, I did so much worse on the test then I probably would have if I just stopped where I was, and slept.
- Reward yourself- Its like when a kid asks for a cookie because they did something good. Give yourself the cookie after you studied for a while. Tell yourself that you did a good job and reward yourself! I usually watch a Netflix episode of law and order, (my favorite show) and eat some fruit or popcorn! That is my reward, and it encourages me to study, but I know there is a treat waiting for me at the end!
- Hang out with friends- I am not someone to study with other people, but I do like to force myself to leave my room to hang out with people for a little while I’m studying. Staying by yourself and having to focus only on being stressed, will not help you de-stress. Go hang out with someone and enjoy your time!
- Stay Positive- Yes this sounds so stupid! But its so important. Positive self talk helps! Saying negative things won’t make you feel good about yourself. I remind myself how strong I am and that I have gotten through it before, and I WILL again.
- Keep in mind that tests are just that, tests. I have always struggled with test taking. I stress so much because I know they count for a grade. But so does the homework that I do. And my participation. And my projects. The teachers/professors see that. My teachers/professors always say to me that they see my stress. They see me trying hard and that my work ethic is fantastic. That is what will take me far in life, not a good or bad test grade. Keep that in mind. It sure has helped me.
- Writing it out- Im in the middle of midterm week right now. I am currently taking a break from studying to right this post! It actually is helping me destress as we speak haha! I just found a new technique that works for me! Write about all the ways you can de-stress and read them to yourself! Know that you are not alone during these stressful times!
I hope some of these de-stressing techniques help you during your midterm and finals weeks! Comment what works and doesn’t work for you, because I love hearing and trying new things. Im in the middle of midterm week right now, and writing this blog has helped me put it into perspective.