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Coping with exam stress and help from the University of Gloucestershire

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    It’s estimated that at any given time, one in four people will experience a mental health problem (Mind) so to make your time at university as easy as possible, the University of Gloucestershire offers a range of services, information and support.

    Exam stress affects different people in different ways. Whilst the adrenaline and pressure can have a positive effect on some, others find themselves overwhelmed with anxiety.

    It's not possible to completely eliminate stress, but some of the pressure can definitely be alleviated. If stress gets the better of you then exam performance, happiness and your health can suffer. High levels of stress can cause an excessive production of adrenaline resulting in headaches,racing heart, fatigue, irritability, and sleeping problems.

    Remember, it's perfectly normal to be a bit anxious, but stress is making you ill, then there are people you can talk to for support.

    A great way to reduce stress is to get organised, make a plan of what you need to do and prioritise your to-do list. Struggling with revision? Speak to your personal tutor, a member of your SU or the Helpzone who will be able to help.

    Staying healthy can also help to reduce the effects of stress. A healthy, balanced, active lifestyle keeps you more awake, able to concentrate and even increases the amount of oxygen to your brain.Food affects both physical and mental performances. During exam time it's easy to get into the habit of surviving on takeaways and ready meals and drinking coffee after coffee. But making sure you get a healthy balanced diet is crucial to keep you functioning optimally.

    * Get your 5 a day with portions of fruit and vegetables
    * Cut down on the 'bad' fats in your diet - go easy on the fast food and takeaways
    * Have a high carbohydrate breakfast to start the day
    * Try to eat regular meals and pack a healthy snack to refuel if you are working on campus or in the library
    * Drink plenty of fluids but go easy on the caffeinated and sugary drinks
    * You don't have to go overboard; it's still OK to have the odd treat!

    If you enjoy cooking, make it something to look forward to at the end of a day's revision. If you don't, cook with a friend or set up a rota in your house to take turns so you don't have to do it as often. Consider cooking a large batch of something like soup at the weekend (or on your revision day off), which is nourishing and easy to reheat during the week.

    Getting active is a great stress-buster! Even if you're not sporty or don't usually do much exercise, a little can make a huge difference to your mood. It's never too late to join a university sports club but if team sportsaren’t your thing, then even a walk around the block can help.

    See more on mental health and wellbeing at the University of Gloucestershire.

    If you have any questions or need advice, please post below or send us a private message and we will refer you to the best person or department to help you. :hugs:
    Remember, each campus has a dedicated student Helpzone, a ‘one stop shop’ service providing confidential advice, support and guidance for students.

    Our mental health and wellbeing advisers offer a confidential, one-to-one support service before and during your studies. They can also advise on the types of support available to help manage your studies.

    Contact the mental health and wellbeing advisers for confidential support via [email protected] or by calling 01242 714542

    We also have a counselling service available for students to help with any emotional, psychological or mental health difficulties you may experience. The service is free, confidential and run by qualified,professional counsellors who understand the pressures of university life.

    Contact the counselling service for confidential support via [email protected] or by calling 01242 714542.
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