Preparation for exams: Navigating stress with wellness & effective study habits

Kaya Panthier – Argosy Illustrations Editor

As the calendar pages turn and the academic year progresses, students navigate both their coursework and the complexities of our modern world. With exams and deadlines looming, this is an undeniably stressful time. However, by focusing on wellness and honing effective study habits, students can transform this challenging period into an opportunity for growth and learning.

Understanding the stress landscape: 

The continuous influx of news and current events around us compounds the stress of exams. Whether it is global issues, local happenings, or personal concerns, these layers of stress can impact our mental and physical well-being. Acknowledging this unique burden and approaching it with compassion and understanding is essential.

Integrating wellness into exam preparation:

Mental health awareness: Prioritizing mental health is crucial. This may mean setting aside time for relaxation, engaging in mindfulness or meditation practices, or seeking support from campus counselling services. It is okay to ask for help and to take mental health days when needed.

Physical wellness: Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a balanced diet are pivotal in managing stress. Physical activity, even as simple as a daily walk, can significantly reduce anxiety and improve focus. Nutrition-wise, opt for brain foods like nuts, berries, and whole grains that boost cognitive function and energy levels.

Social support: Maintaining social connections through study groups or simply spending time with friends can provide emotional support and reduce feelings of isolation.

Digital detox: Consider periodic digital detoxes where you disconnect from all digital devices to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality.

Effective study habits:

Structured study schedule: Creating a study schedule can help manage time effectively. Break down study material into manageable chunks and allocate specific times for each subject.

Active learning techniques: Employ active learning techniques like summarizing information in your own words, teaching concepts to someone else, or creating mind maps. These methods are more effective than passive reading or highlighting.

Study environment: Choose a study environment that minimizes distractions and maximizes focus. This might be a quiet corner of the library, a peaceful park, or a designated study space at home.

Regular breaks: Incorporate regular breaks into study sessions. The Pomodoro Technique, which involves studying for 25 minutes and then taking a five-minute break, which can enhance focus and prevent burnout.

As exams approach, remember that this period is just one part of your academic journey. Integrating wellness into your preparation and developing effective study habits, you can not only navigate this time more smoothly but also lay the groundwork for sustainable success and well-being in your academic and personal life.

Remember, it is about balance — balancing study with self-care and staying informed with staying grounded.

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