Exams: How to study in a mentally healthy way 

Exams: How to study in a mentally healthy way 

Make a study plan. Whether you’re prepared well ahead of time or are catching up at the last minute, you can’t cover everything at once. So, take some time to make a plan. Identifying the most important areas you need to study can help to give your revision sessions structure and direction, which may help you to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Be conscious of how you’re talking to yourself. Are you quick to criticise or put yourself down when you make a mistake? Maybe you call yourself names or doubt your abilities when something isn’t going in. Take a minute to stop and recognise what you’re doing well. Whether that’s remembering part of the topic or even starting to revise, we make achievements in everything we do (but tend to recognise these less, particularly in the face of stress). Making time to challenge ourselves when we talk negatively can help us recognise our strengths and achievements, and can boost motivation.

Set boundaries. If you start to feel stressed when studying, it’s time to take a break. That could mean popping outside for some fresh air, making a hot drink, or having a chat with friends. Taking time to do something else can help you to take a step back and clear your head so that when it’s time to go back to studying, you can approach it with a calmer and more focused mind.

Plan to enjoy yourself. It’s important to take breaks to help you stay productive, but it’s also important to have plans for your day other than studying and working. Time doing the things you enjoy is crucial to maintaining your wellbeing. Help yourself to commit to this by making plans with friends or family that you add into your study plan. Your health, wellbeing and motivation will thank you!

Reach out for support. Asking for help can feel like a big step, but it’s important to remember that if you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or panicked by studying, you deserve support. Around 25,000 higher education students have texted Shout 85258 for support so far in 2021 and their trained Shout Volunteers are available at any time of day or night.

Text ‘SHOUT’ to 82528 to let them know what’s troubling you. Shout is free, confidential, anonymous and won’t show up on your phone bill.

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