Stress Less for Exam Success
Active study tips
Tips for gaining perspective
- Try a mini meditation. Breathe in deeply, count to five, and exhale slowly. Watch your lower abdomen expand and deflate. Repeat five times.
- Don’t try to be perfect: remind yourself that your best is something to be proud of.
Tips to help you manage stress
Engage in positive self-talk to help build self-confidence.
If you’re experiencing exam-related stress or anxiety, remind yourself that the exam period has an end date and it will be over soon.
Tips for eating well
Eat a breakfast high in protein and fibre within two hours of waking up to jump start your metabolism.
Eat a snack or small meal that includes protein, veggies or fruit, and a complex carbohydrate every three-to-four hours while awake.
Tips for getting active
Find 10-minute workout breaks
Getting active doesn’t require hours in the gym. Take a break between classes and walk to the coffee shop that’s furthest away, take the long way to your next class, or go for a quick evening run (always stick to well-lit and safe routes).
Join a recreation-focused AMS Club
Get active with others. Join a recreation-focused club like the Badminton Club, the Dance Club, the Sailing Club, or the Ultimate Club, among many others.
Meditation and other ways to feel good
Tips for effective studying
Tip for the night before
- Get enough quality sleep. Your brain is at its quickest and most adept after seven-to-nine hours of sleep.
Other ways to feel prepared
Manage stress and anxiety over the long term
Believing that you are able to manage stress and anxiety is important because your perceptions can have a large impact on your health. Research has shown that “students’ perceived ability to manage stress can reduce their likelihood of becoming depressed”1.
1Sawatzky et al, "Resilience mediates the effect of stress on depression in university students," Journal of American College Health, submitted for review July 7, 2010
Identify the things that trigger your stress or anxiety
What causes your stress or anxiety? Keep a log of your stress triggers and review them periodically.
Identify the times that you tend to get stressed or anxious
Are you most stressed in the morning? Before class? Studying in the evening? Monitor the times you feel most stressed or anxious and include these times in your stress log.
Think of ways to change your responses to stress and anxiety
Are there unhealthy triggers you can avoid or minimize your exposure to? Can you change how you approach triggers or the way that you manage stress and anxiety?
For example, if studying for a difficult class alone in your room at night triggers a stress response, you might try studying with a friend or in a group at a different location and time of day. You might also want to try taking other steps to minimize the stress triggered by this activity, such as asking your professor or TA for help, accessing academic resources like the Learning Commons, or engaging in positive self-talk when you begin feeling stressed.
What other students are saying about stress
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