5 tips to manage stress and develop healthy study practices during exam periods

Preparing for mid-terms or final exams can be challenging, and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Taking care of your mental health and well-being can be a pillar for academic success. In addition to your current resilience routine, here are five tips to manage stress and develop healthy study practices:

Take care of your body

Our bodies have a natural rhythm that lasts about 90 minutes and then resets. 60 of those 90 minutes are more alert, so be mindful that our bodies tend to ‘chunk’ time into shorter, more powerful bursts. Instead of sitting down for the full 2 hours to read, we can use the first 20-30 minutes to brainstorm an essay topic, then spend the rest of the time to go for an exercise break, practice mindfulness, or journal. In other words, now that you know what’s happening in your body, work with it intentionally!

Proactively use learning supports

Reaching available services on time to support yourself for success is a wise decision to make. Select one service you’d like to make use of before the end of the term. Visit the Learning Commons or the Trades Learning Centre website for services in peer tutoring, learning skills, English language support, and test preparation. You’re also welcome to join ThriveBCIT, a 5-week program for students to develop a growth mindset, self-compassion, and grit, along with learning strategy essentials like time management and effective studying.

Stay connected

As an academic success strategy, try to cultivate two new relationships this week. Perhaps it can be deepening a relationship with a peer, or reincorporating nature, family, and play in a manageable way during the school year. If you need help figuring out where to start, stay tuned for Student Life Ambassadors’ upcoming events, look up BCIT Student Association Clubs, or attend Diversity Circle events organized by the Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion Office.

Visualize your acceptance letter

Remember the why of why you’re here. Go back to the time when you received your acceptance letter from BCIT. What did it feel like? What did you hope for your career? Return to this visualization when you need it. The Financial Aid and Awards and the Centre of Workplace Education can provide further insight into the financial and practical considerations for supporting your education and professional experience.

Asking for help

Just like knowing and exercising our strengths is essential, recognizing our limitations is also key to resilience. It’s important to practice self-compassion and remember that there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Part of asking for help means knowing what support and services are available to help you. The Counselling and Student Development Office can help you manage stress and think through big decisions. If you’re unsure of where to start, you can self-refer or refer a friend to Early Assist. You cannot get “in trouble” through Early Assist, and a referral does not appear anywhere on a student’s record.

Remember that each person is unique. The strategy for success may be different for everyone. At BCIT, a variety of services are available for you to find out which better fits your needs and requirements.

The Student Life Office contributes to the development of this content.

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