It is Mental Health Awareness week this week (from the 10th to the 16th May), so we are giving you some top tips for dealing with exam stress as a University student in a pandemic.
1. Get some fresh sea air:
Whilst this idea may seem simple, getting out and about is one of the best ways to boost your mood as well as your productivity. in a break go for a walk along the beach, pop in your headphones, maybe listen to a funny podcast. One of my favourites is the Off Menu Podcast with Ed Gamble and James Acaster, or My Dad Wrote a Porno if you are in the mood for a giggle. If you are feeling a bit more energetic maybe so for a run and blast your favourite pop music along the way.
2. Make sure you are well rested and well fed:
Our bodies need food and sleep the same as a car needs petrol, it is essential. Even though it may seem easy to neglect your sleep schedule during exam season but setting aside time for rest can help your exam performance by enhancing clarity of mind and decreasing stress.
3. Change it up:
Maybe you are feeling unproductive and unmotivated because you have been staring at the same four walls for weeks on end. To switch up your work schedule, visit a café, go to the library or work on the beach (weather permitting). Motivation is key to successful work, so going to a space where you feel more creative is a great way to boost productivity and mood! This could also be an opportunity to meet up with friends or go to a coffee shop! Costa are doing 50p drinks until the 13th May if you fancy grabbing a bargain! Some of our favourite places to work include Bond Street Coffee, Trading Post Coffee Roasters and the Flour Pot Bakery.
4. Come up with long term goals:
Whether you are working on your dissertation or finishing your first year, a great way to be more productive is to come up with some long term goals for after your deadlines. This could range from a night out with your mates after your final exam, a shopping spree or even a next step in your career. Thinking of how your life will be after these deadlines is a great way to motivate yourself to finish your work, and maybe be more excited to complete work if you know if will benefit you in the future!
5. Write it down:
If you are feeling particularly overwhelmed, one of the best ways to reduce stress and increase productivity is to write a list of things you are feeling stressed about of things that you need to do. This enables you to picture the next steps in your work and visualise the journey. This can also be handy in showing you that there is not as much to do as you think!
6. Asking for help:
Exam season is a difficult time, especially during a pandemic. It is important to know when to ask for help and to understand that it is okay to struggle. Both the University of Sussex and Brighton have measures put in place to help students struggling with deadlines, so do be sure to contact them if you need!
We wish you the best of luck with your deadlines and hope that they all go well.
Here are some links to resources that you may find useful if you are struggling with your mental health:
- Samaritans- call 116123
- Mind's helpline- 0331233393
- Rethink- We are Rethink Mental Illness