Know your stress signs and ease your exam stress

by Jeongeun Park, Senior Resident

COVID 19 crisis, lockdown, being stuck at home, no parties, social distancing… I know you are already stressed out by the current government’s dos and don’ts. On top, a revision period is coming up and perhaps this makes you even more frustrated. First, it is NORMAL to feel anxious when having exams or essay deadlines to meet. Ok then, you may wonder how to cope with exam-related stress. 

Here are some tips suggested by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) that I find useful to effectively manage my stress level. I know you are a busy person, so I sum up a few important points made.  

1. Know your stress signs

Have you shown any of the following symptoms? These are the signs telling you that you are experiencing some level of stress. Watch out for these signs – it’s time for you to take a break and take care of your body and mind. 

  • worry a lot
  • feel tense
  • have headaches and stomach pains
  • not sleep well
  • be irritable
  • lose interest in food or eat more than normal
  • not enjoy activities they previously enjoyed
  • be negative and have a low mood
  • feel hopeless about the future

2. Share your vulnerability

According to the NHS, it is crucial to have someone to talk about your exam nerves. Do not hesitate to say HI to anyone with whom you feel comfortable if you feel anxious or tense. Bring a cup of comfort tea and chat with that person – it would make you feel better!   

Plus, do not forget that you always have SUPPORT from us, the Resilife Team! We are always happy to listen and talk about anxiety and stress. 


During the revision season, I appreciate you cannot afford to cook a three-course extravagant grand meal or have a full 8-hour beauty sleep. Albeit, do you know that there are some types of food you should avoid otherwise they would make you unnecessarily hyperactive, moody and irritable? High-fat, high-sugar, high-caffeine drinks and foods (e.g. cola, energy drinks, burgers and chips, sweets, chocolate) are avoidable, especially if you want to focus on your studies!   

4. Orient your mind towards past success rather than potential failure 

This does not mean that you should rely on past success and neglect your studies. Instead, whenever negative thoughts pop into your head, try not to dwell on these. Instead, think about what went well last time when you had to deal with a high volume of stress. And remind yourself of how resilient you are.  

5. Prepare post-exam treats for yourself

Do you have any plans after your final exam or essay? Regardless of results, it is fair to reward yourself for getting all through. Perhaps, catching up TV shows missed or lost sleep? Seeing friends (two-meter apart outside your house though)? Going on a peaceful stroll on a beautifully sunny day? Whatever treats, we all deserve them!  

If you want to check out the full report,  visit the NHS website.

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