How to deal with anxiety around exam time

Having anxiety around exam time sucks, it’s a situation which is worrying for anyone, let alone someone prone to overthinking and stressing. But it’s okay – you can get through it! Here are some tips to make things a bit easier.

1. Dial down the caffeine

Caffeine isn’t great for us anxious people at the best of times but during exam time this jumps exponentially. But if you’re downing your third coffee of the day at 8 am on your way to the library, thoughts whirling around your head at 100mph and your heart beating even faster than usual, it’s easy to see how caffeine can make your anxiety spiral out of control. Harness your natural anxious energy and turn it into productiveness – don’t overwhelm your nerves with endless cups of coffee!

2. Try to go outside once a day

Staying cooped up in a dingy student room slaving over textbooks in the dark would make anyone frazzled. Whether you choose to savour your morning and evening walks to and from the library, or break up your day with a little walk at lunchtime, going outside is so important for your state of mind. A walk can do wonders if your mind is going over thoughts of failing or having to resit an exam.

3. Find a library that suits you

If you’re anything like me, you can find places with loads of people quite intimidating. But don’t let that stop you from hitting the library! It took me a while to find a library I felt comfortable in, but now I’ve found ‘the one’, I love going into uni to work there. You may find that you don’t even use a library to work in, but most unis have designated ‘study spaces’ or cafes on campus where you can work in a less daunting environment.

4. Talk to others – but within limits

Don’t talk about revision with your housemate who’s got the same exam as you; it’ll only stress you out further. Everyone has different expectations when it comes to uni work, and similarly, everyone has different methods and tactics for revision. Focus on yourself. But that said – don’t shut yourself away. Talk to people about fun stuff – your post-exam plans, what you’re going to make for dinner, the cute boy you saw in the library. The only topic that is banned is EXAMS!!!!

5. Get lots of sleep

You won’t be able to cope with exam anxiety if you don’t try and get sufficient sleep. Linking this also back to the caffeine thing – if you have trouble sleeping, then look to avoid caffeine. Try to practice mindfulness and try to bed early. Work hard during the day so that you’re knackered when you come home helps. Being super tired at the end of the day makes it easier to fall asleep by 11 pm, and harder to lie awake convincing yourself you’re going to fail at 3 am. Sleep is essential.

6. Believe in yourself

You aren’t going to fail. You’re going to do amazingly – tell yourself this every morning until you believe it. You got this!!!! No matter how soon they come, look on the bright side you may finish your exams a lot earlier than everyone else.

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