The ultimate selfcare tips for your exam stress

21 April 2024

It can be overwhelming and stressful when our schedule seems filled with deadlines and exams. During these times we may sleep less or late, we order food rather than eating healthy brain foods and we feel as though there is way too little time for ourselves. In this article you will find some subtle selfcare tips that will allow you to still feel good and cared for during your deadline chaos. But first, you have to understand that selfcare is not just taking a bath or getting your nails done. Selfcare matters on three levels: emotional, physical and energetic selfcare. Now that you know this, let’s get into some tips for each of these selfcare levels!

Exam Stress

Emotional selfcare

Emotional selfcare is about maintaining your mental health during stressful periods of time.

1. Writing – journaling, to-dos and gratitude lists
One way to get all your thoughts out of your head is to put them onto paper. Not only when it comes to your personal worries and overthinking, but also your tasks and to dos. When we put things onto paper our mind feels like it’s okay to let it go for a bit. Our brain often wants control and when we ensure that our “worries” and other important things are written down, our mind can slowly relax a little bit again. This is why it is highly beneficial to journal every time before you go to bed or right after you wake up. Drain the brain!

Another thing that can make you feel emotionally connected to something other than school and deadlines, is by writing a gratitude list during periods of change and stress. Practicing gratitude is a powerful tool that allows us to feel hope and joy, even when things are rough. The key to practicing gratitude is not just summing each thing up, but really trying to tune into how it feels. For example, if you say I am so grateful for my friends, really try to feel that gratitude in your body. Does it make your chest feel lighter, your heart warmer?

2. Talk to others
Talking to others about what you are struggling with can be very helpful during an exam period. Frequently chat with classmates about what they are doing. Ask for help if you need it. Rant to your friends about your deadlines. It’s healthy, do not worry. But maybe also check in with others whether they have the mental space to listen. That way we all take care of each other!


Physical selfcare

Physical selfcare is about taking care of your body during periods of being busy and feeling overwhelmed.

3. Exercise, move, dance, anything!
We all know by now that exercise and working out is good for your body. But did you know it is extremely helpful for your mental health as well? Yes, you have probably heard that exercising can release dopamine in your brain (which makes you feel good and accomplished). But moving your body ensures that you are releasing stress and decreasing cortisol. Working out and other body practices can actually prevent your anxiety from getting worse.

4. Meal prep to eat healthy
Our brain highly relies on the energy our foods provide. When we continuously order
Thuisbezorgd during our exam periods, we may not be getting the nutritious meals we actually need for our brain to function optimally. When our brain gets the energy it needs, we no longer experience brain fog, anxiety and less overthinking. All these things will support you during exam season. Try to meal prep during the weekends so you can grind during the week. Read this article for tips on how to make cooking easy and fun!

Energetic selfcare

Energetic selfcare is about monitoring your energy levels and managing them.

5. Balance your social activities
Maintaining your energy levels is not always as easy as it seems. Sometimes we stay a little too long at a party and end up recharging the rest of the weekend. Other times we stay at home too much and miss out on feeling connected to others. During deadline and exam seasons it is important to manage your time (and therefore your energy levels) very well. Create a schedule for yourself where you have enough space to study, have a me-moment before the day ends and still meet up with some people somewhere during the week. Social connection is important!

6. Sleep is your best friend
Getting enough sleep is so, so, so important during exam season. We sometimes tend to neglect this, because we feel short on time, but during sleep your body and brain recharge themselves. Your body and brain need you to hit the break button so they can restore. This way you will be able to function optimally again the next day.