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Weekly Wellbeing Write-up: How To Manage Exam And Deadline Stress

Chidiebere Okoroafor

It’s 8am.

You wake up to the sound of a familiar alarm. You take a few moments to commit to getting out of bed. Before having the chance to do so fully, you are hit with a wave of dread; the stress returns as you realize how many things you have to get done.

I know the feeling, and hopefully it offers some comfort knowing that you are not alone. But there are a few things you can implement to manage the stress that comes with upcoming examinations and coursework deadlines.

To help allocate your time better, ask yourself when you are most productive? Whether you are an early bird or night owl, setting time aside during this period can help you get the most out of your day

Prioritise. One of the most effective ways to handle exam and deadline stress is to understand which deadline has the highest priority.

Plan. With a clear idea of what to prioritise, make a realistic plan to tackle tasks but tailor it to you. Some people prefer compiling a set of tasks to complete at any time during the day, whilst others may prefer allocating a specific time to each task. To help allocate your time better, ask yourself when you are most productive? Whether you are an early bird or night owl, setting time aside during this period can help you get the most out of your day. Additionally, writing a plan visualises how a situation can be controlled.

Ask For Help. Although you might be told to relax when stressed, being genuine about what you are feeling is extremely important. Speaking candidly with a close friend, family member or counsellor about your situation is one of the best ways to manage stress.

Celebrate Small Achievements. If you break down tasks into manageable pieces, crossing off your list as you go along can give you a small sense of accomplishment that motivates you further.

There is no point beating yourself up about it. Feeling guilty about rest only contributes further to your stress

Take A Step Back if it gets too much. If you’re significantly stressing over revision or a coursework, take a step back. Besides preventing burnout, this will allow you to recharge and helps you approach the task later with a much clearer headspace. This can be by stretching, taking a walk or listening to some music. Taking a step back for a brief period can help you regain focus and approach the task more productively and effectively.

Rest. That does not mean taking your revision to bed. You need to rest and unwind. My idea of resting is having a warm milk chocolate cookie dough whilst watching reruns of Moesha on Netflix. Your idea of rest might be taking a bath, meditating, getting a workout in, or anything else that makes you most relaxed. There is no point beating yourself up about it. Feeling guilty about rest only contributes further to your stress.

It’s 8am.

You wake up to the sound of a familiar alarm. You’ve had a decent night’s sleep. You stretch and take a few moments before getting up. But this time there is no dread. You have a lot to get done but you have a personal plan of what you’re doing to achieve those tasks. You also understand that if the day does not go as planned, you get a chance to try again tomorrow.

Chidiebere Okoroafor

Featured image courtesy of David Mao on Unsplash. Image license found hereNo changes were made to this image. 

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