Wellness Over Worries: 5 Simple Tips to Conquer Stress this Exam Season

Being a student at university can be one of the greatest and most rewarding experiences. It's a time to discover yourself and dip your toes into the world of adulthood without taking on the full scope of responsibilities that coincide with growing up. It is essentially a time to ‘work hard and play hard(er)!’ That being said, a university level courseload can be extremely stressful. With a mix of midterms, term projects and finals, it is easy to get bogged down by the workload and forget to take time for yourself and take care of your wellbeing. 

In my experience, letting my wellness take a backseat not only wreaks havoc on my happiness, but my motivation and productivity as well. My first year of university was an unforgettable year and it taught me the importance of dedicating time for myself each day. Below, I have shared my go-to practices for managing stress and conquering the exam season.

  1. 1. Go for a Walk

    This is likely the most underrated practice! Whether you’re struggling to start studying or feel yourself fading during a long study session, a walk is the perfect way to refocus and rejuvenate. By leaving the library or your room, heading outside for some fresh air is the perfect change of scenery. You can walk for as far and long as you’d like, but I’d recommend making an effort to be present during your walk. It would feel refreshing if you focus on your surroundings and be mindful of the sights and sounds around you. 

  2. 2. Unwind with a Bubble Bath

    Baths aren’t everyone's cup of tea, so if you’re like me, fill the tub and pour the bubbles (Soap bubbles, that is – save the champagne for post exam festivities). Taking a nice hot bath is an ideal way to unwind from your studies and prepare for a good night’s sleep. It can help you calm down and completely let go of the stress weighing on your mind. And there’s more! Taking a bath can serve as double duty by offering not only tranquility, but a solid foundation for personal hygiene as well.

  3. 3. Prepare a Tasty Meal

    Uber Eats and ready-made meals can be a time-saver, but they’re not always friendly to our wallets and waistlines. I suggest taking time to prepare yourself a nice meal. As someone who is the furthest from being a Masterchef, I’ve learned that it’s not always about what you make, but simply the act of cooking it. I’d recommend taking the time to head to the grocery store and get the ingredients to test out a new recipe you’ve been wanting to try or simply prepare an already existing favourite. Bonus if you invite a friend to join! Just remember that once in a while it’s beneficial to take the time to enjoy a meal and distance yourself from a habit of mindlessly eating food while sitting in front of our screens. 

  4. 4. Unleash Your Inner Yogi

    No need to be a pro! Taking a ten-minute break from your studies to do some basic yoga or simply stretch is great for both your mind and body. In my experience, sitting in the same position for extended periods of time can cause me to become lethargic, lose motivation and sometimes even stiffen up! We aren’t meant to be statues, so do yourself a favour and incorporate some movement into your day. My go-to poses are the cobra, the cat, and the chair! I like to do the moves in a sequence from ground – to kneeling – to standing for three rounds, holding each pose for one minute (30 seconds per side). While I highly enjoy my routine, get creative and discover what works best for you!

  5. 5. Call up a Friend

    While sometimes it’s necessary to buckle down and be one with your books, don’t forget to be social. Exam season shouldn’t be a time to isolate yourself behind a barricade of books and takeaway boxes! Talking to family and friends is an awesome way to help manage stress. If you’re unable to visit them face-to-face, a quick phone call can be equally effective. Regardless of the topic of your conversation, chatting with family and friends can help boost your spirits and give you the clarity to tackle your academic responsibilities.   

    Good luck!