As a negative emotional, physical, and mental reaction to prolonged study, exam burnout causes exhaustion, frustration, lack of motivation, and reduced academic performance. Continue reading to learn about various tips to combat exam stress.
Exam stress makes you hyperactive, unable to relax and low on energy. This state is not comfortable, but it can help you get through those dreadful few weeks and to the other side. Burnout is when you are fatigued, unable to motivate yourself, unable to respond fully to anything, detached, and still low in energy but without any adrenaline buzz to get you through the day. This situation arises during a difficult year. Burnout is more unpleasant than stress, and the demanding nature of a test year is exactly the kind of thing that contributes to it. How, then, do you prevent it? Here is our best advice.
- Get assistance from your friends.
Burnout is harder to detect because it doesn’t involve the intensification of emotions associated with stress but rather a blunting of them. You can find yourself growing unnecessarily irritated with other people, but you might also notice that you’re losing interest in matters you really should care about.
Friends and family who are encouraging during this time are quite helpful. The best thing you can do at the start of the year is to agree with your friends to keep a closer eye on each other than previously necessary since others are more likely to spot the warning signs of burnout in yourself.
- Focus on one thing at a time
Our environment is designed to support multitasking; for example, you can listen to an audiobook while driving or surf through social media while drinking your morning coffee. This is fantastic if you’re at the height of your productivity and are bursting with energy, but if you’re struggling to stay afloat, it could feel more like you’re failing to accomplish many tasks at once than succeeding in them. A red flag for stress and burnout is the sensation of juggling too many balls at once.
- Take care of yourself if you feel unwell.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to find that your health declines during exam days. No matter how well you eat or exercise, stress may be impacting the quality of your sleep, and it’s unlikely that you’re receiving as much fresh air or sunlight as you need.
Therefore, if you start to feel sick, look after yourself before it worsens. Taking a few days off when you are just about healthy enough to study or attend school will feel difficult, perhaps even lazy, but it is preferable to taking the chance of getting sick enough to miss a week’s worth of work.
- Take breaks.
Many coping strategies for exam days or other times when you have a lot of work to complete may urge you to take regular breaks. For example, daily “me time” intervals during which you’ll practice yoga, take a bubble bath or go for a run. Or, on weekends, they might advise that it’s acceptable to take some time out for a hike to decompress. Are you not a fan of bubble baths? Consider what makes you feel relaxed.
But the most important thing is that your break be restful. It shouldn’t also have to be morally upright. Therefore, if you would rather watch soap operas or play video games and these activities leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, then, by all means, prioritize them above breaks that you would otherwise find less enjoyable. Making leisure another activity where you must attempt to meet externally-set goals is silly and counterproductive.