Mental Health During Exams
By: Kate Sinodis and Rose Andrews
First semester exams are coming up quickly, and with that, student stress levels are rising as well. Maintaining good mental health is always important, but with exams coming up, that can be hard to do.
Mental health is a person’s psychological, social and emotional wellbeing. Good mental health is important because it means that a person has a healthy social life, can express their emotions well, and experiences a healthy balance of the whole spectrum of emotions. Even people with all of these things can still struggle sometimes with anxiety or can become overwhelmed in stressful situations. When this happens, it is important to recognize what is happening, why, and some good ways to help deal with it.
One good way to cope with stress, especially academic stress, is to stay organized and set up schedules and deadlines, even if they are personal ones that are not enforced by teachers. Setting up a study schedule based on what classes may be the most difficult and when these exams fall can help to prioritize what to study and help achieve the best outcome possible.
Another important thing to do is to stay on top of physical health as well. Physical health is not just exercise (although that can be part of it), but it also means making sure to
drink enough water, to go to bed early enough, and to be sure to eat balanced meals. All of these things may not necessarily seem like a big deal, but they can help immensely, or by not doing them, can add an unnecessary level of difficulty to an already difficult and draining week.
Mental health can generally be improved by taking care of yourself with the little things, like remembering to eat, getting enough sleep, and taking a moment to go outside and get some fresh air. These things are not cures, but by focusing on the little things, tasks may seem a little less daunting and your basic needs are fulfilled.
If things seem unbearable or too much, know that you are not alone. You can always talk to your teachers or your peers, and there are resources online, like online therapy or hotlines that can be reached at any moment. The national suicide hotline is 988.
Good luck with exams, Cougars. You’ve got this!