What are the key ingredients to keeping your mind, body and spirit healthy and happy during exam time? This week we have a guest blog brought to you by Helen Anderson, Residence Life Advisor, in which she shares her helpful hints and thoughtful tips with us on managing exam stress.

Exams are nearly here, so we thought it would be a great time to give you a few tips on how to take care of yourself and tackle revision in a healthy and manageable way. In no particular order:

Take a break. When you have lots to get done, it can feel as though taking a break is a waste of time. You should be working, right? Just keep going! Well… no. Powering through marathon study sessions can be counterproductive, as after a while your brain just won’t take the information in properly. A better way to look at it is that taking regular short breaks is part of the work and will allow you to return to your revision refreshed and able to focus. If you’re looking for something to do, maybe come along to one of the Birds of Prey events the Residence Life Team are running this term (and keep an eye out for upcoming info on more events designed to give you a short break…)

Get some sleep. However tempting it may be to pull an all-nighter, this is invariably a terrible idea. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule, especially the night before an exam. If you find you’re struggling with sleep, you might find this Wellbeing workbook helpful.

Move around. Again, not suggesting marathons here, but getting some exercise is really helpful in managing stress and getting oxygen to your brain. Take a look at the Health & Wellness pages for free and low-cost options. If exercise isn’t an option, even just popping outside for a little while can make a big difference – take a look at the Grounds Team web pages for ideas on where you might go.

Eat something. Actual food. With vegetables and stuff. At busy times it can be easier (and more fun, frankly) to reach for the junk food, but your brain probably won’t work as efficiently if it’s not getting the right fuel. Self-catered residents, if you really can’t face cooking, don’t forget you can buy a meal in catered halls.

Get to grips with revision. For effective revision strategies, check out the Study Zone where you’ll find loads of helpful resources.

Be excellent to each other. During exams, it’s easy for stress levels to rise, and sometimes tensions rise with them – things like a messy kitchen or a neighbour’s music can have much more of an impact than they might at other times. It’s always a good idea to be considerate and understanding of others, but even more so around exam time.

Take care of yourself. If you’re finding exams tough, Wellbeing have some great self-help resources including audio relaxation sessions and a workbook on busting exam stress.  And, if you need to, you can always contact Wellbeing directly to find out what additional support may be available. You’re also always welcome to speak to the Residence Life Team, who are available every evening; and overnight, Nightline are an amazing resource.

Remember the rules. Now’s a great time to remind yourself of the guidance around exams. If you bring something into the exam hall that’s not allowed – even by accident – then this could have serious consequences. That’s an extra level of worry you really don’t need, so make sure you know exactly what’s OK and what isn’t.

Have a fantastic term, and good luck with any exams you have coming up – you can do it!

Residence Life Helen

Many thanks to Helen for sharing these fabulous exam stress busting tips! Just a reminder from us here in the Accommodation Team about summer accommodation this year. This is available between Saturday 22 June and Saturday 7 September 2019 for a minimum contract length of four weeks. We are able to offer single en-suite rooms at James Owen Court and also a limited number of studios at Birks Grange Village. These rooms are subject to availability.  For further information please see our summer accommodation webpages.