Throughout the day, take “minibreaks.” Sit down and get comfortable, slowly take a deep breath in, hold it, and then exhale very slowly. At the same time, let your shoulder muscles droop, smile, and say something positive like, “I am r-e-l-a-x-e-d.”
To manage stress you can: learn to relax; take a deep breath; practise acceptance; talk rationally to yourself; get organised; exercise; manage your time; have quiet time; watch your habits; know your limits; talk to others about it; practise visualisation.
It is important for you to find a healthy way to deal with your feelings before they become overwhelming. Some options include: express yourself creatively, keep a diary or journal, talk to someone, or seek professional help.
If you have flashbacks of a stressful event, have bad dreams, lose your appetite or sleep, or become distant from day-to-day activities and these experiences persist, you may want to consult your doctor, a counsellor, or other mental health professional.
There are many life events that can be viewed as stressful, such as being involved in, or witnessing an accident, being a victim of, or witnessing abuse or violence, or having someone close to you die. Any stressful event can affect your emotions.
When stress is high, it’s important to know what makes you feel calm and relaxed. Otherwise it’s easy to turn to unhelpful coping strategies. What calms you when stressors are high? Take a moment to reflect so you’re ready when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
The things that you do after an exam are just as important for dealing with stress as the things you do before and during. You’ve worked hard and done your best and now it’s time to put the exam out of your mind entirely.