Stress less

How to stay stress-free during exams and EOCs

Hannah Harkins, Staffer

As the school year reaches its final stretches, impending standardized tests and exams loom in the ever-present darkness before the summer light at the end of the tunnel. It is not uncommon for students to feel stressed and overwhelmed during these times. However, there are ways for students to limit and handle this stress.

One technique to deal with stress is to put studying and homework on a schedule. The average suggested amount of time students should spend on each class’ homework is 30 minutes. However every student knows their own and their classes’ individual needs, so that number is slightly subjective based on the classes. Students should make a schedule that allots around 30-45 minutes per class for studying and homework per day. If a student has extra time after completing their homework, then they can use the time to rest. Naps are never discouraged.

Another tip to reduce stress is to avoid caffeinated and high-sugar foods and drinks. While they may make a consumer feel energized after consumption, they will inevitably experience the “crash” that follows. Both substances are highly addictive among students and can even be considered a drug among physicians. Sugar and caffeine crashes prevent students from studying at appropriate times and cause unneeded and unwarranted fatigue. A cup of herbal tea and a piece of dark chocolate can easily satisfy the cravings without the unwanted side effects.

Working out is an excellent way to reduce stress, as well. Whether it is going to the gym, taking a jog around the neighborhood or following a yoga instructional video, any form of physical activity can better a person’s attitude and general well-being. While working out, the brain recognizes the activity as a time of stress, so it releases endorphins, a stress-fighting chemical, to counteract the stressed feeling. These endorphins result in a happy and overall good feeling after the workout.

Also, learning to turn down requests to do unnecessary additional work from peers is necessary to stay relaxed and healthy during stressful times. Students who are preparing for major exams should only have to focus on their studying and preparations, not on additional activities such as shopping, petty chores and hanging out with friends all day. Even if that is what they would rather be doing.  However, students that need the extra time to prepare for their assessments should try and focus their energy on activities that will help them.

Negative stress never benefits a student who needs to prepare for exams and following these simple tips may help to reduce it.