Stressed About Tests?
With midterm exams coming up there's a great amount of stress and tension in the air. It feels as though your brain is overloaded with doubts and fears due to hours of procrastination, lack of studying, or feeling the pressure of test anxiety. If you're feeling anxious about failing, take this moment and let's challenge that stress. Don't let doubt take you down a path of unnecessary worry.
Exams are intimidating and terrifying (well…for me at least). On top of finding time to study it’s also important to keep our mental health in check. Negative thinking can become a toxic friend in times of stress and it’s best we change negative thoughts into positive ones.
Thoughts like, “I’m going to fail this exam…” or, “I didn’t study as much as I should have…” WILL NOT encourage you and will only add on more stress. It will derail your motivation and undermine your true potential. Instead think, “I will do my best…” or, “what can I do to improve my study habits…”
- If you’re worried about what to study, ask your professor for study tips.
- Ask about the test format.
- Try and form a small study group or share notes to create a study guide.
The bottom line is to always seek improvement, ask for help, and be consistent with studying (we all know last-minute studying is DREADFUL).
- Don’t let the negative self-talk bring you down!
Sometimes the exam material can be overwhelming and that’s okay. The best way to manage that overwhelming feeling is by organizing a study schedule of when and what to study. Professors tend to suggest that studying at least three weeks in advance can really benefit your grade. Keep your notes straightforward. When we’re stressed we tend to want to overstudy and cram too much information into one little note card. When studying, take mental breaks. Take a moment to drink some water, get up, and move around a bit. It’s totally normal to take breaks in between studying but don’t let it exceed 10 minutes.
Let's talk nutrition...
Extensive research has proven the benefits of eating a well-balanced diet can improve mental health. It doesn’t hurt to try and eat healthy during midterms and exams.
- Avocados and almonds are rich in Vitamin B
- try adding almonds to yogurt for a healthy snack in between exams.
- Foods rich in antioxidants:
- Beans- pinto, black, or red kidney
- Fruits- apples, sweet cherries, plums, black plums
- Berries- Blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries
- Nuts- Walnuts, pecans
- Vegetables- kale, spinach, beets, broccoli
- Try adding kale, spinach, and almonds to a salad. If this grosses you out then add in some grilled chicken, a light vinaigrette dressing, or some feta cheese.
Additional tips to keep in mind:
- Stay hydrated!
- Do your best to get 8 hours of sleep.
- even if it’s a 20-minute walk.
Lastly and most importantly, breathe, relax, and do your best!