Self-Care tips for the final week of exam season

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As AP season comes to a close, it can be difficult for students to relax and focus on themselves mentally and physically. Stress can inhibit productivity, inducing fatigue and anxiety. Here are a couple of suggestions for ways to minimize your stress as the year comes to a close.

How to Relax During Cram Season:

  • Study in intervals: “I make sure to take breaks in intervals while studying, so I don’t overload myself,” said sophomore Rishima Pokharel. Junior Nissabelle Rianom also said she sections her breaks through her eating schedule. “I use that as a break to completely get away from all the screen time and note-taking, then come back after I’ve finished my meal,” she said.
  • Take a walk or get exercise regularly: According to an article from Live Science, your mind retains information better when you stay active.
  • Spend free time on your hobbies: Sophomore Matthew Algenio said he spends time playing his guitar. Similarly, sophomore Raine Wu said, “I always spend my free time making playlists because discovering new music is such a relaxing feeling.”
  • Make an agenda every morning: Stay organized and focused by making a to-do list with specific time frames.
  • Stop when you feel overwhelmed: Sophomore Arietta Xylas said, “I take breaks when I feel burnt out. I also avoid pushing myself more than I already am.”
  • Spend time with family and friends: Your loved ones are here for you, so reach out for help and support frequently.

How to Relax the Day of Your Exams:

  • Stay healthy: “I normally spend time hydrating and eating. I feel that it’s extremely important to be properly energized before a test to function to the best of my ability,” Matthew said. Raine also stressed the importance of sleeping early.
  • Listen to some music: Arietta said, “I listen to music to take my mind off of any anxieties that I am feeling.”
  • Look over your notes: Nissabelle said, “I try not to study as much and only look over notes if I need clarification on some things, so that I don’t stress over the material.”
  • Breathe: Arietta said, “I give myself mental pep talks.” Similarly, Rishima said, “I close my eyes and take deep breaths.” Do whatever helps you most.

How to Relax After Your Exams:

  • Check in with friends: Everyone gets anxious during exam season, so it is important to reach out to those who can relate to your stressors. Arietta said, “I talk to my friends about how their exams went.”
  • Take a nap: Matthew said that the first thing on his post-exam to-do list is to take a revitalizing nap. “It’s stressful taking these exams and it’s nice to just relax afterwards,” he said.
  • Indulge in therapeutic activities: Both Nissabelle and Rishima said they take walks to unwind. Raine said, “I will probably be reading many books because it’s nice to get lost in a world that isn’t my own as it can get chaotic especially during exam season.”
  • Watch your favorite shows and movies: Nissabelle shared a recommendation and said, “Watch a Studio Ghibli movie while eating ice cream. After taking such an exhausting exam, it’s good to have a change of scenery with the beautiful animations. I highly recommend Ponyo.”

Regardless of how well prepared you think you are for your exam, you tried your best. Finishing the year strong is an accomplishment within itself, so don’t feel too discouraged. Rishima Pokharel has some final words of encouragement: “Relax, take a deep breath, and give it your all.”

Photo by Rachel Chan