Exam season is a dreaded time for all students, even when their tests are weeks or months away. It’s a time of great stress. That stress builds and builds until you’re overreacting to everything, pumping with adrenaline, but always lacking energy. By the end of your exams, you’re completely burned out and feel awful. But you don’t have to get burned out every time exams come around. Here are a few tips to avoid burnout during your exam seasons.
Get a Little Help from Your Friends
It’s easy to tell that you’re getting stressed. You buzz around like you’ve had too much caffeine but feel like you’ve gotten nothing done. While you know when you’re stressed, you might have trouble telling when you’re approaching a burnout. When the stress starts to be too much, you’ll begin snapping at people or becoming irrationally annoyed at the slightest thing. For other things that are sometimes more important, you’ll become indifferent.
It’s during this time that you’ll need the help of your friends. Your friends are your support system during this time, and if they’re students, too, then you’re probably part of their support system as well.
At the start of the year, make an agreement to keep an eye on each other. It’ll be easier for them to spot the warning signs of a burnout in you than it will be for you to notice any signs. They can also devise plans that will help you relax.
Whenever you have a lot of work to take on, you need to take regular breaks. This way of staving off stress can really help during exam season. During this break time, you can find many ways to reduce stress. Do exercises or yoga, talk to a friend, or indulge in a luxurious bubble bath. If you have a weekend before your tests, take all that time off and do something that will ease the stress from your mind.
Setting aside regular time periods for breaks is an excellent way to relieve stress unless you’re using this time to run errands, catch up on housecleaning, or do things that you may not actually enjoy. If you don’t enjoy yoga or other such activities, then doing these things will not relax you. If you enjoy playing a video game or watching a movie, do that instead. The point of your breaks should not be to find time to accomplish other tasks but to truly unplug and relax.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
Multitasking is a skill that’s highly regarded in today’s society, but it’s not always a good thing. You’ve probably become accustomed to reading a book while listening to music and eating a snack all at once. It gets harder when you’re trying to keep your mental state afloat.
To avoid burning out, try to focus on one task at a time. When you’re relaxing, don’t have your textbook or notes out. You’ll enjoy the television show you’re watching less and learn absolutely nothing. When you eat and study, you don’t even enjoy what you’re eating. Take the time to really enjoy your food as distracted eating is a sign of a burnout. If you have something important to do that you may forget if you don’t do it right away, write it down and prioritize.
Be Honest with Yourself
When you’re doing too much, your body knows. You start to physically feel bad. Listen to what your body says. If it becomes too much or you’re looking for someone to “do essay for me,” then take a moment to assess. Don’t panic. Your mental health is more important than your exam scores. You’ve been preparing all semester for these exams. You have the tools. Even though you know that you have what you need, that won’t stop stress from building up.
Luckily, there are people and tools around who will help you through your exams. Good luck with your exams and stay positive!