Coping With Stress: Some (Hopefully) Helpful Advice

I am a self confessed worrier.

Ever since I was little, I’ve constantly been told that I’m a worrier, and that I worry and think too much about everything. As I got older, this worry never seemed to go away, and I still do worry about every little thing that’s happening. And this worry seems to always get worse at certain periods, such as stressful times in life. Currently, I’m writing this the week before my mock exams, which may not seem worrying to the normal person, but worry me quite a lot.

Although mock exams are definitely not as scary as real ones, they still are important to me. I want to know exactly where I stand with all my subjects, and since these grades go towards the predicted grades for university, I’d like to do well so I genuinely have a chance. So here I am, stressed.

Stress doesn’t have to eat away at you though. There are some things you can do to manage stress, and the worst thing to do if you are stressed is stress ABOUT the stress (been there, done that, cried a lot).

Listed below are some top tips I have in case you’re in the same position as me, and stress quite a lot. They may not work for all, but I tried to put as many different methods in as possible.

Top Tips for Coping With Stress

• Drink some water. It sounds like the most simple thing in the world, but I cannot count the amount of dehydration-induced headaches I get, especially when I’m stressed. Having a headache on top of the stress certainly doesn’t help, so keep hydrated and healthy ALL the time.

• Go for a walk. This is a personal favourite of mine. Walking is incredibly therapeutic for me, especially if I need to clear my head, and it’s nice to walk around quiet streets in the evening, with or without headphones, and just have some time in the outdoors.

• Take deep breaths/meditate. Although I can’t say I’ve tried meditation, I know it works for a lot of people, especially when they need to feel calm in times of worry/stress. If meditation isn’t your thing, just sitting and taking deep breaths can help to clear your mind and give you some time to sit back from everything.

• Spend time with loved ones. Revision is important, but so is your social life and mental wellbeing. Don’t neglect your mind and think revision is the be all and end all, as you really do need to have some time away from books to reenergise and relax.

• Do something you like. Again, you need to take some time away from revision to focus on yourself. Do something you like to do, whether that’s drawing, reading, exercising or whatever. Just take some time out for yourself and your own happiness.

• Try doing things in advance. Of course, I’m being hypocritical here, as I seem to be the queen of last minute. However, I have often prioritised and done important things in advance, and when it comes to the night before and I realise I’ve already done it, the relief I feel is unreal. Don’t leave all revision/work until the last minute, and stress yourself out even more.

• Finally, try to have a positive mentality. You simply cannot know everything about everything, and you’ll stress yourself out further trying to remember details that could not be that important. There is always a second option. It might not be as great as the first, but it’s always there. Thinking you’re going to fail sets you up for failure. If you adopt a positive mentality (even if it is a bit forced), you’re more likely to feel relaxed, and could then do better in your exams.

This was a bit of a different post this week, but I thought it’s very relevant for me currently, and so that might be the same for others too. Stress is what you make of it, and there are ways to cope. If you’ve got any exams coming up (real or mocks), good luck! You can only do your best.

Always, Drew xxx

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