How to tackle exam stress

Dear Editor,
During this pandemic time and with the start of exam season, students are in fear and are stressed. This exam stress can cause students to feel anxious, which in turn can affect their sleep and concentration, thus leading to a poor performance. Now, it becomes the duty of parents to ensure that students learn how to manage this stress. The first step to deal with exam anxiety is to recognise the signs of stress. Secondly, parents, educators and the school must encourage an open and honest communication with the students to help them emerge stronger. We need to provide opportunities for students to set realistic and achievable short- and long-term learning goals.
One of the most important thing is time management. Students often get stressed when they feel that they are running out of time to complete something. Developing effective and simple structures around time-management can help them relax and stay focused.
Since, due to COVID-19, the schedule of children is upset, parents should help them create a plan – a written work schedule or breaking down of tasks into manageable chunks – to address the ‘out-of-control feeling’.
Make sure they sleep well. To deliver one’s best performance, a person needs seven-eight hours of sleep. Also form the habit of sleeping and waking at the same time every day.
Anxiety often leads to negative thoughts and self-doubt. We should try to replace it with a positive thoughts. Make students look back at how far they have come and how much they have already achieved. Also support them that they have prepared well, and there should be no reason to worry.
Parents must remind students that failure is an opportunity for growth and learning is a key aspect of success. In this unprecedented time of COVID-19, students have many unanswered questions about their future but it is imperative for them to understand that change is the only constant. Apart from keeping one’s physical body healthy, one must also enrich and nourish the mind. Simple breathing exercising, practising gratitude and mindfulness strategies will help a lot.
It is also important to remind them that challenges will make them stronger and help them write unique success stories.
Kanchan Sharma,

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