4 MIN READ | Health Psychology

How to Be Mentally Healthy During Stressful Exam Period

Wendy Whitehead

Cite This
Wendy Whitehead, (2018, January 8). How to Be Mentally Healthy During Stressful Exam Period. Psychreg on Health Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/stressful-exam/
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Exam period is the most important time in a school term because the exams determine your grade. During this time you have to focus very much on your studies and on how to perfectly write your essay, but this does not mean that you neglect yourself.

When it is exam time you need to maintain your body to function normally without getting stressed. When your body senses stress it puts up a defence which might disadvantage you during the exam period.

Here are several ways to maintain your mental health during exam period.

It is not helpful if you are stressed during the exam period.

Get enough sleep and rest

Just because you have an exam tomorrow you think reading late into the night is not a solution. Actually, you will be doing your body more harm than good because you will be more relaxed the following day by sleeping early. Set the time you will always stop reading and give your body ample time to rest. Prepare well before you get to bed with exercises followed by a hot shower to unwind and you will sleep peacefully.


Socialising does not mean that you spend most of your study time catching up with friends. Be cautious of who you socialise with because you need just a few minutes with people who won’t remind you of exams or studies. Your social life is very important, even during the exam period. Contact friends who are not taking exams at the same time as you because the time you spend chatting will relax your mind as it recharges for the next study time.

Calm yourself

Avoiding being nervous during exam time is very challenging though you have to try. When the body is faced by a little stress it is good for optimum performance, but an inch beyond that causes the body to fight. The body reacts by sparking a fight or flight mode and none of this will benefit you during the exam period.

Managing stress should begin before the exam period with these helpful tips:

  • Be organised and revise early so that you have organised revision notes and you will have
    covered lots of study notes when exam time approaches.
  • If you must be with classmates for socialising avoid comparing notes with them in terms of how
    much revision you have covered because such can cause aggravated stress as you feel as if you
    have not studied enough, lowering your self-esteem.
  • Set aside time that you will engage in extracurricular activities like running, swimming or going
    to the gym.
  • Mindfulness and meditation can reduce stress as they help you focus on something else.
  • During the exam period manage the revision timetable so that you give your mind time to
    absorb what you have studied. During exam time just go through the revision notes you had
    prepared earlier.
Mindfulness and meditation can reduce stress.

Manage your eating habits

Do not overeat, but then maintain a balanced diet. You might be too busy to even consider what kind of food you are taking and sometimes you might think to skip meals, but this is not an option. If you engage in bad eating habits your body will surely reward by making it harder for you to energise your body and mind to concentrate on your studies. Some tips to ensure you maintain a balanced diet during your exam period include: 

  • Cook in triple portions so that you don’t spend much time cooking and use that time for
  • If you live with friends this will be a good time to assign duties for cooking and shopping.

When it’s the end of the semester you are excited, but anxious at the same time. You need to clearly prepare for exams to relieve yourself of exam stress and anxiety. You want your exams perfectly paper written as you look after your body and mind so that you don’t break down during exams.

Plan your study time very well to accommodate studying, socialising and extracurricular activities along with regular study breaks.

Wendy Whitehead worked as a teaching assistant at two special needs schools in London before embarking on a different career as a marketing consultant. Her passion for special education still remains with her, however. She is passionate about mental health and well-being and she write articles in these areas. Wendy did her undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Leicester. She later on did a short course in counselling from the University of Hertfordshire. 



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