The test you’ve been preparing for so long is already behind you. But somehow you don’t feel good about it. If you have to wait for your results, your condition can get even critical. Every test or even personal statement writing to the college can make you deeply stressed. Now it is time to let it all go and deal with the after-exam stress.
How to Know You Are Stressed
Being stressed before an exam is considered pretty much normal. Mostly, it has to do with the fear of failure. But why you still don’t feel free after you’ve taken the exam? First, you don’t know how you have managed. Secondly, you feel a kind of devastation. You’ve put all your strengths into studying for your exam? You don’t know what to do now? You don’t want to communicate with anybody? It’s hard for you to fall asleep? Well, these are the main symptoms of after-exam stress.
What to Do When You Are Stressed
Your primary goal now is to bring your life back to normal. You can do different things, depending on your symptoms and your way of life, but the overall strategy is similar to everybody. It includes a number of steps to make.
1. Deal with Your Fears
You keep asking yourself what if you failed. Or if your results are not good enough. In this case, it is necessary to get rid of your perfectionism. If your results are not good enough: you are not a robot and don’t have to be an ideal student here and now. You can improve your results during the next exam. If you failed, well, this is not the end of the world. If there is a possibility to retake it, you don’t need to worry at all. If not, think about it after the results are announced.
2. Clear Your Mind
Once you’ve recognized your fears and convinced yourself that any result is not that tragic, stop thinking about it at all. Try to forget about preparation, about the exam and about the results. Meditate. Watch an intriguing movie, read a book. Do anything to get distracted.
3. Be Positive and Thankful
It seems impossible when you are stressed. But you still need it. Think of all the good things in your life. Your family, friends, health, beauty, inner world, about this beautiful and peaceful day – and be thankful for that. Truly mean it. After a couple of minutes of thinking about such global things, the exam will not mean as much for you and you will finally be able to relax.
4. Don’t Oversleep
Even if you’ve experienced a continual lack of sleep lately, don’t run to the extremes. You should not sleep more than nine, alright, ten hours a day! Yes, it may be hard, because you have an opportunity to sleep as long as you want now. But oversleeping can lead to feeling broken, even depressed. Besides, it will be very hard to get back a normal rhythm, when you need it.
5. Food for Thought vs. Food for the Body
There is hardly a person, who will negotiate the perks of healthy nutrition. But there also so many people, who, knowing about all the perks, can’t force themselves to eat right. Especially, when stressed. You may want to eat sweets and cookies uncontrollably. Or you want something fried. Our brain often answers to stress with various nutritional disorders. Please, mind that when you feel stuffed, you’ll feel worse. You’ll also sleep worse and, eventually, you’ll look worse, too. Mind what you eat! Besides, it is very important to eat more often but in smaller amounts.
6. A Gadget-Free Day
Stress after exams is not only how you think you feel, it is how your brain is operating. It needs rest too. So, it is better to spend a day outside, reading or spending time with those you love without using your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Gadgets overload your brain with information. The light they produce makes you anxious. This is definitely not what you want when you are stressed.
7. Go in for Sports
Physical exercise is one of the most effective antidepressants ever. During a workout, your brain begins to produce endorphins that improve your mood and feeling. When the exam is finally over, it’s time to go to the gym, or for a bike ride. Even simple stretching will make you feel much better.
8. Don’t Stay In
You spent so many hours studying for your exam. Hours and hours reading, writing and sitting in front of a monitor. Now, go outside! Fresh air is what you really need! It is much better to take long walks. But if you don’t have the energy for them, just sit under a tree in the park. Breeze!
9. Spend Time with Your Friends
You’ve been feeling quite detached recently. It is time to break through this and start socializing once again. Usually, students like to hang out. If you don’t feel like it for a long time, it means that you are stressed. Maybe, even depressed. Try to spend with your friend as much quality time as you can. If they took the same exam as you did, you would support each other. If they didn’t, they would help you distract.
10. Next Time Study Wiser
For many students, after-exam stress is caused by the fact that they were not prepared enough for this exam. Even if you studied really hard, sometimes you just can’t help thinking that you could have done better. When you study for the exam next time, use all the possible techniques to help you succeed. Plus, keep track of what you have done. It will make you appreciate your work and avoid additional stress.
Sometimes, you feel great weakness, instead of the expected joy and lightheartedness after the exam. It means that your stress is stronger than your relief. Stress comes as a result of weakened immunity, exhausted nervous system, increased blood pressure, etc. At this point, it is vital to make your body and mind to a normal state.