It’s that time of year again!

Outside in the parks the trees are bursting with pink blossom, the familiar jingle of the ice-cream van sends your mind to a place of warm days spent idly licking cream-filled cones dripping with raspberry sauce.  The scent of newly mown grass transports you to an era of long lost simplicity, where time seemed your own.

On campus, things have gone eerily quiet, but the silent study areas of the library are crammed with keen students tapping at keyboards, crunching crisps; swigging from cans anything to keep them awake.  The stark absence of friends to hang out with is a reminder that nights at the Students’ Union have been replaced with the burning of midnight oil.  Exam season is with us again.

Whether you are a student at university, in the sixth form, preparing for GCSE’s, or in Y6 preparing for SAT’s, there is one thing for certain, you are likely to be feeling the pressure.

Perhaps you are experiencing:
  •  feelings of overwhelm

  • a fear of not coping

  • insomnia

  • panic

  • fear of failure

  • stress

  • burn-out

  • worry and anxiety

  • depression

  • anger outbursts

  • tearfulness

  • heart palpitations

  • fatigue

You may be able to add to this list. Perhaps you imagine you are the only one feeling this way, which might put you off talking about your feelings to others. Or worse, you think there is something wrong with you that you should be experiencing what are actually normal symptoms of stress and anxiety. This can add to the feelings of isolation and perpetuate the symptoms.

An important thing to remind yourself of at this time is who it is you are doing these exams for.  It can sometimes feel like we have lost perspective on our own plans and dreams, as teachers and parents seem so focused on our performance.

Now might be the time to remind yourself (and others) that these are your exams – parents can be a bit dim when it comes to understanding basic boundaries (I know this, because I am one!) and may unwittingly be adding to your feelings of stress by questioning your work regime, for example.

Remember, you are the best person to know what works best for you.  Trust yourself.

In the meantime, do whatever you can to exercise good self-care:
  • take regular breaks

  • listen to some relaxing music

  • meet with a friend for coffee and a chat

  • have a night off

  • get out for a walk in the fresh air

  • make a list of your favourite treats for times when you most need them

  • plan some nice things to look forward to when the exams are over

  • remind yourself that at the end of the day, it is only an exam.  What’s the worse that can happen?

Hopefully, this should help you to gain a greater sense of control, and get you through your revision in one piece, knowing that the pressure will pass, along with the exams.

If anything in this article has resonated with you and you would like to have a chat to see how I can help, please get in touch.





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