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I think exam stress is affecting my health Watch

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    Hi,

    If anyone knows how to deal with exam stress, could you help me please?

    This is my second year of A levels, but I will be doing 3 years of A levels as I'm currently doing both A2 an AS subjects. Last year, I struggled to cope with the pressures of exams, hence why I am doing a third year as I messed up some of my subjects in the first year.
    Now however, I'm becoming more stressed about exams- I don't want to go into specifics but the main reason I'm posting here is because I think it's got to the stage where I don't know what to do. Sorry if this is a bit graphic but whenever I eat, it doesn't seem to stay in my body for long and I think I've lost some weight because of this (I'm quite thin already so that isn't what I want right now- I'd much prefer to be putting on weight). I'm forcing myself to eat the amount i usually eat even though sometimes I don't feel like it. Also I'm catching colds more easily (I've got one right now during the first week of exams) and other things which are less important like spots, being a lot more emotional etc.

    I'm used to it affecting my sleep but I never had the issues which are underlined last year. I don't necessarily want to go to a doctor, not only because it'l take me 3/4 weeks to get an appointment, when most of my exams will be over, but also because I imagine that they'll just give me medication of some sort. So if anyone who sees this has also had stuff like this happen to them, how did you stop it/cope? Is there certain food you can eat, relaxation tips, anything? Because relaxing music isn't helping my belly.
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    For me if I feel myself getting really stressed I just stop and put exams into perspective - all I can do is try my best and do I really want to risk my health for a grade on a piece of paper ? Also, I close my eyes and picture a relaxing area- in the countryside for example and I won't go back to revision until I feel calmer and happier. I hope this helps


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    Hey first of all your not alone, I felt like that also last year. The best thing I can advise you is meditate, honestly its so helpful. Also try not to procrastinate about how bad stuff will get, think positively. Exams are almost over (you have around 25 more days to go) just keep pushing and trying but don't overwork and be happy. Spend more time with your family. Best of luck
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    You can take vitamin C tablets to help your immune system (idk if they really do help that much but i guess if it helps 😂). I try to switch off at about 9 - listen to music, call my friends. Sometimes being around other people helps to calm things down.

    Like someone else said - its all a matter of perspective. If these exams dont work out something else will, you could also do brilliantly in them but its not the end of the world and your health is important. So dont put yourself under pressure, go through all the material and then you cant do much more than that.

    Good luck & hope you feel better soon 😊💕
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    I haven't tried this but..
    To help me sleep my teacher advised me to buy lavender oil. You can dot some on your pillow and into your bath - you should totally have a relaxing bath then night before an exam btw. She said you can dot it into a tissue which you can sniff as you walk into your exam, your brain does something (forgot the scientific term) and reminds you of the calmness you experienced with the smell. As for your inability to eat, you should seek help for that. Asap. Don't shrug it off, it could be serious
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    (Original post by Cj707)
    For me if I feel myself getting really stressed I just stop and put exams into perspective - all I can do is try my best and do I really want to risk my health for a grade on a piece of paper ? Also, I close my eyes and picture a relaxing area- in the countryside for example and I won't go back to revision until I feel calmer and happier. I hope this helps


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    Thank you for the advice- I'll try it out
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    (Original post by Raizelcadres)
    Hey first of all your not alone, I felt like that also last year. The best thing I can advise you is meditate, honestly its so helpful. Also try not to procrastinate about how bad stuff will get, think positively. Exams are almost over (you have around 25 more days to go) just keep pushing and trying but don't overwork and be happy. Spend more time with your family. Best of luck
    Thank you for the advice, I've never thought about meditating before so I'll try that
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    (Original post by lou_16)
    You can take vitamin C tablets to help your immune system (idk if they really do help that much but i guess if it helps 😂). I try to switch off at about 9 - listen to music, call my friends. Sometimes being around other people helps to calm things down.

    Like someone else said - its all a matter of perspective. If these exams dont work out something else will, you could also do brilliantly in them but its not the end of the world and your health is important. So dont put yourself under pressure, go through all the material and then you cant do much more than that.

    Good luck & hope you feel better soon 😊💕
    Thank you for the advice, I'll try vitamin C tablets and see if they work and I'll try to switch off at 9- currently I'm finishing revision around 11.

    Good luck for your exams too
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    (Original post by ElaArslan)
    I haven't tried this but..
    To help me sleep my teacher advised me to buy lavender oil. You can dot some on your pillow and into your bath - you should totally have a relaxing bath then night before an exam btw. She said you can dot it into a tissue which you can sniff as you walk into your exam, your brain does something (forgot the scientific term) and reminds you of the calmness you experienced with the smell. As for your inability to eat, you should seek help for that. Asap. Don't shrug it off, it could be serious
    Thank you for the advice- I've never heard of this technique so I'll definitely give that a go. Also, I know it could be serious but I tried to get a doctor's appointment and the earliest available appointment that I've got is the 13th June (after most of my exams have finished) and I'm sure it's because I'm getting stressed so I think and hope it will have stopped by then.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for the advice- I'll try it out
    To add to this, remember exams aren't the be-all-and-end-all of life. I mean they are incredibly useful and maybe essential for some career paths, but they are not worth destroying your life over. Don't worry about what grades you get, just think about the subject itself. Immerse yourself in the subject; even if you end up with a poor grade (which you probably won't, but sh*t happens), the knowledge you gain from your subject is far more important and will still get you far in life.

    Also, give yourself regular breaks, and set a time to stop working and go to sleep (for me that's between 8-9pm). It usually takes 2 hours to calm down enough after revising to go to sleep, so keep that in mind. It may be tempting to revise more but to be honest that's not going to help. It's much better go into exams with a clear head than a tired one.
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    (Original post by TimGB)
    To add to this, remember exams aren't the be-all-and-end-all of life. I mean they are incredibly useful and maybe essential for some career paths, but they are not worth destroying your life over. Don't worry about what grades you get, just think about the subject itself. Immerse yourself in the subject; even if you end up with a poor grade (which you probably won't, but sh*t happens), the knowledge you gain from your subject is far more important and will still get you far in life.

    Also, give yourself regular breaks, and set a time to stop working and go to sleep (for me that's between 8-9pm). It usually takes 2 hours to calm down enough after revising to go to sleep, so keep that in mind. It may be tempting to revise more but to be honest that's not going to help. It's much better go into exams with a clear head than a tired one.
    Thank you for the advice and nice out look on subject immersion.

    I find it hard not to worry though as I really want to go to university to study Classical Civilisations and for the universites which I am thinking about going to, they require ABB. Currently I have 1B and 1C at AS (I hope to raise the C to a B this year though as I'm resitting one of the modules) and I doubt I'll be able to get higher than a B on those when I take the A2 exams for those in June. So in the 2 AS exams I am taking currently, I need an A in one of them and I think that's why I'm stressing.
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    There are lots of things you could try, there is hope! First of all, deep breathing exercises can be really helpful (I have anxiety so am well-acquainted with stress, and deep breathing exercises are really helpful for me). I use this app called Pacifica which is free and has a variety of relaxation exercises which I love. There's also a part of the app where you record your negative thoughts/stressful feelings, then edit them by turning them into more positive thoughts, which can be a helpful way of rationalising your emotions, Plus meditation can be good- the Mark Williams meditations (which can be found on youtube) were recommended to me by my doctor along with his book 'Mindfulness: finding peace in a frantic world', and the meditations help me get to sleep at night.

    Also I know you don't want to go to the doctor as your exams will be over by the time you get an appointment, but I think it's important to get the issue sorted before it snowballs into an even bigger problem. Your stress levels aren't likely to go away in the future unless you learn to cope with stress, so it would be useful to nip the issues in the bud now, especially as your physical health is obviously suffering.

    And possibly your doctor will be different to mine but doctors don't normally offer medication straight away (and if you're under 18, they generally use medication as a last resort): instead they may offer counselling of some sort. And if it's only around exam time you get stressed, they probably won't offer medication as you aren't generally anxious and exam stress is only a specific situation- but if your stress is significantly affecting your life on a more frequent basis, then it's even more important that you go to the doctor for help

    I keep banging on about this because I stayed away from the doctor for similar reasons, and really regret it as my mental health just got worse and worse. If I'd gotten help earlier, maybe I would have suffered less. Chronic stress can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, so it's important to get a hold on it before it escalates. I don't want you to unnecessarily suffer either. Basically, there's no harm in asking for advice from your doctor

    Hope you feel better soon, and good luck with your exams!
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    (Original post by lishskiroyale)
    There are lots of things you could try, there is hope! First of all, deep breathing exercises can be really helpful (I have anxiety so am well-acquainted with stress, and deep breathing exercises are really helpful for me). I use this app called Pacifica which is free and has a variety of relaxation exercises which I love. There's also a part of the app where you record your negative thoughts/stressful feelings, then edit them by turning them into more positive thoughts, which can be a helpful way of rationalising your emotions, Plus meditation can be good- the Mark Williams meditations (which can be found on youtube) were recommended to me by my doctor along with his book 'Mindfulness: finding peace in a frantic world', and the meditations help me get to sleep at night.

    Also I know you don't want to go to the doctor as your exams will be over by the time you get an appointment, but I think it's important to get the issue sorted before it snowballs into an even bigger problem. Your stress levels aren't likely to go away in the future unless you learn to cope with stress, so it would be useful to nip the issues in the bud now, especially as your physical health is obviously suffering.

    And possibly your doctor will be different to mine but doctors don't normally offer medication straight away (and if you're under 18, they generally use medication as a last resort): instead they may offer counselling of some sort. And if it's only around exam time you get stressed, they probably won't offer medication as you aren't generally anxious and exam stress is only a specific situation- but if your stress is significantly affecting your life on a more frequent basis, then it's even more important that you go to the doctor for help

    I keep banging on about this because I stayed away from the doctor for similar reasons, and really regret it as my mental health just got worse and worse. If I'd gotten help earlier, maybe I would have suffered less. Chronic stress can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, so it's important to get a hold on it before it escalates. I don't want you to unnecessarily suffer either. Basically, there's no harm in asking for advice from your doctor

    Hope you feel better soon, and good luck with your exams!
    Thank you for the advice and the good luck wish- I have booked the earliest available appointment with a doctors surgery during the middle/early June and I have just noted down your suggestions for relaxation tips; I intend to download the app in a second. I am 18 and I think the source of all my stress is just due to exams and (luckily) nothing else so I hope they do not necessarily give me medication to deal with it.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for the advice and nice out look on subject immersion.

    I find it hard not to worry though as I really want to go to university to study Classical Civilisations and for the universites which I am thinking about going to, they require ABB. Currently I have 1B and 1C at AS (I hope to raise the C to a B this year though as I'm resitting one of the modules) and I doubt I'll be able to get higher than a B on those when I take the A2 exams for those in June. So in the 2 AS exams I am taking currently, I need an A in one of them and I think that's why I'm stressing.
    Don't prioritise universities over sanity. Try to work at a the highest comfortable pace you can, and accept the best university that you get into. DON'T overwork yourself just to get into a better uni. If you had to work at super stressful levels to get there, you WILL be pushed over your limit when you study there. Depression and mental health issues are worryingly common at higher universities, and suicide rates are also unnervingly high. Don't push yourself through that for the sake of pride.

    At the end of the day, a university education is a university education, a first is a first etc. Now a first from Cambridge may be better than a first from Anglia Ruskin, but it's also much harder to get. If you work comfortably and go for the best university you can get into (maybe it's your preferred university, who knows?), and then work hard there, then you'll get the best degree you are capable of getting. That may be a first at Oxbridge, or a 2:1 at Liverpool; I don't know you well enough to say.
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    First off, well done for recognising that exam stress may be affecting your health. Exams are stressful but if they start to affect you in this way it's time to do something about it. Recognising this and having started this blog is a big step. Well done.

    I find it really difficult to revise and to learn stuff and that can add to stress. What I have found most helpful for me whilst revising is to alternate between stints of revision and stints of doing something active and not cerebral (washing up, ironing, walk round the block, anything that doesn’t require thought). My stints consist of about ¾ hour revision then ¼ hour exercise but if you manage a better ratio go for it. Avoid stimulants late evening/last thing at night (eg. alcohol, cigarettes, computer games, dramatic tv, etc) and ensure you do something relaxing before sleeping (eg. shower/bath, read easy book, etc) to give your mind the best chance to unwind before sleep.

    Hope this helps.
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    (Original post by TimGB)
    Don't prioritise universities over sanity. Try to work at a the highest comfortable pace you can, and accept the best university that you get into. DON'T overwork yourself just to get into a better uni. If you had to work at super stressful levels to get there, you WILL be pushed over your limit when you study there. Depression and mental health issues are worryingly common at higher universities, and suicide rates are also unnervingly high. Don't push yourself through that for the sake of pride.

    At the end of the day, a university education is a university education, a first is a first etc. Now a first from Cambridge may be better than a first from Anglia Ruskin, but it's also much harder to get. If you work comfortably and go for the best university you can get into (maybe it's your preferred university, who knows?), and then work hard there, then you'll get the best degree you are capable of getting. That may be a first at Oxbridge, or a 2:1 at Liverpool; I don't know you well enough to say.
    It's not for pride, Liverpool is one of the universities which I am thinking about going to and even though it's not that high up on the rankings for Classics, it still requires ABB. I am not aiming to get into Oxbridge at all, not only am I not capable of getting into those unis, my GSCE's of predominately B's and C's would not put me in good stead against probably an A*-A grades GCSE student. Any university which I feel comfortable at will do me happily, it's just that for Classical Civilisations, most unis want ABB (except Manchester who may accept BBB depending) or higher and I am not fussed on whether I get a first or a 2:1, I'm just really enthusiastic about the subject and maybe, if I do not see another job which looks good, I am thinking about teaching it in the future. But I have no chance of teaching it if I can't even pass it myself because I buckle under exam pressure and time limits when trying to write everything I can for 2 questions in a two hour exam and under, n matter how much I love the subject or can recall information when not in an exam or put on the spot.
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    (Original post by MartinF)
    First off, well done for recognising that exam stress may be affecting your health. Exams are stressful but if they start to affect you in this way it's time to do something about it. Recognising this and having started this blog is a big step. Well done.

    I find it really difficult to revise and to learn stuff and that can add to stress. What I have found most helpful for me whilst revising is to alternate between stints of revision and stints of doing something active and not cerebral (washing up, ironing, walk round the block, anything that doesn’t require thought). My stints consist of about ¾ hour revision then ¼ hour exercise but if you manage a better ratio go for it. Avoid stimulants late evening/last thing at night (eg. alcohol, cigarettes, computer games, dramatic tv, etc) and ensure you do something relaxing before sleeping (eg. shower/bath, read easy book, etc) to give your mind the best chance to unwind before sleep.

    Hope this helps.
    Thank you for the advice- it's funny you mentioned exercise because I've found myself dancing about my room occasionally when I've been wanting to get away from revision from time to time and I think it has been helping to get rid of some the tension sometimes in my forehead and shoulders. I will try out your method though with the timings and avoiding those things at night. Thank you
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hi,

    If anyone knows how to deal with exam stress, could you help me please?

    This is my second year of A levels, but I will be doing 3 years of A levels as I'm currently doing both A2 an AS subjects. Last year, I struggled to cope with the pressures of exams, hence why I am doing a third year as I messed up some of my subjects in the first year.
    Now however, I'm becoming more stressed about exams- I don't want to go into specifics but the main reason I'm posting here is because I think it's got to the stage where I don't know what to do. Sorry if this is a bit graphic but whenever I eat, it doesn't seem to stay in my body for long and I think I've lost some weight because of this (I'm quite thin already so that isn't what I want right now- I'd much prefer to be putting on weight). I'm forcing myself to eat the amount i usually eat even though sometimes I don't feel like it. Also I'm catching colds more easily (I've got one right now during the first week of exams) and other things which are less important like spots, being a lot more emotional etc.

    I'm used to it affecting my sleep but I never had the issues which are underlined last year. I don't necessarily want to go to a doctor, not only because it'l take me 3/4 weeks to get an appointment, when most of my exams will be over, but also because I imagine that they'll just give me medication of some sort. So if anyone who sees this has also had stuff like this happen to them, how did you stop it/cope? Is there certain food you can eat, relaxation tips, anything? Because relaxing music isn't helping my belly.
    I've written a blog post on How to Relax if thats any help to you? I understand how it can make you feel when dealing with exam stress and personal problems. Happy thoughts to you! https://adventuringwithlove.wordpres.../how-to-relax/
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    (Original post by bethy143)
    I've written a blog post on How to Relax if thats any help to you? I understand how it can make you feel when dealing with exam stress and personal problems. Happy thoughts to you! https://adventuringwithlove.wordpres.../how-to-relax/
    Thank you! I've read your blog post and it included some good ideas- I agree with how it's hard to get away from technology as I'm constantly using my laptop!
 
 
 
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