Year 12 can be stressful at the best of times and when we hear the word Exams the stress can seem overwhelming if we don’t have the tools and strategies to manage it. Stress is normal and when managed can be a positive tool driving us to achieve our goals however too much can make us exhausted, angry and overwhelmed. So now that you have the study scheduled, take care of your physical, mental and emotional health. Here are our top strategies to help reduce stress:
Take the pressure off: Realistically assess how you think you will go and work to the best of your ability. If other people’s expectations are pressuring you, talk to them and try to get them to settle down. Write down what you are worried about and then what the worst case, best case and most likely case scenario will be to help calm down your worries. Track your thoughts by writing about your thoughts, feelings, and reactions if the worries are all too consuming with an app like Mind Shift. Search for evidence for what you are thinking and find a more positive way of looking at the situation to keep everything in perspective. This may help you change what you are feeling bad about. Build your optimism and gratitude by looking objectively at a situation, making a conscious decision to focus on the good and spend 5 minutes a day thinking of 3 things you are grateful for.
Ask for help: It’s never too late to ask your teacher a question about something that you have not understood in class. You may have not asked for fear of ‘looking stupid’ in front of your classmates but don’t let that worry you. Your teacher’s job is to help you understand what has been taught and that you know how to apply that information.
Time-out: Try to make sure you do at least one thing you enjoy each day to recharge your batteries. Go for a walk outside, cook, spend time with friends or learn to do something new. Even it is just a 30minute walk around the block, physical exercise and getting outside is a natural anxiety buster.
Sleep, Eat, Repeat: Eat healthily, keep hydrated, limit alcohol and caffeine, and sleep 8hrs. Eating well can make a difference to your energy levels and sleep has a huge effect on physical and emotional health. If sleep deteriorates due to stress try a shower at night, warm milk, dark room, no alarms or devices one hour prior to bed and try some Mindfulness.
Be mindful: Mindfulness practice helps you pay attention to the present moment, and not get caught up in thoughts about the past or worry about the future. There are plenty of free downloadable Mindfulness/Relaxation Apps (Smiling Mind, Mindful Me, Meditation) that will keep you calm, increase memory and improve concentration. If these strategies are not the right fit for you or your stress starts affecting your mood, energy, sleep, appetite and motivation then contact your GP and discuss a Mental health plan for a referral to a Psychologist. Online supports are lifeline.org.au, kidshelpline.com.au, headspace.org.au, reachout.com.au, and beyondblue.com to name a few.
Emergency services: 000
Echuca Regional Health: 54855000
Kids helpline: 1800551800 Anytime. Any Reason
Lifeline: 131114 Saving Lives Crisis Support. Suicide Prevention
Bendigo Health Mental Health Triage service: 1300363788