Helpful hints on how to reduce exam stress.
Pharmacists are advising exam students and their parents to take steps to reduce stress and ensure it does not impact on exam performance.
Over 100,000 students will spend this weekend revising in advance of their Junior and Leaving Certificate exams.
According to Ann Marie Horan, a pharmacist and member of the Irish Pharmacy Union Executive committee, said: “Every year pharmacists are visited by students or their parents looking for advice on how to minimise stress and keep healthy for the coming weeks. There are many practical steps that we can advise on which will help students.
While everyone gets nervous before these big exams, for some students their exams can seem overwhelming and can lead to unhealthy levels of stress developing. This can have negative impacts including difficulty sleeping, stomach upsets, diarrhoea, cold sores and tension headaches. All of these can negatively impact on their performance. Furthermore, students with conditions such as asthma, sinusitis or allergic reactions can find those aggravated at exam time.
“Students have worked hard for many years to get to this point. It is important to ensure we do everything we can to help them avoid illness so they can tackle their exams in the peak of their health.”
Tips from Pharmacists to prevent Exam Stress
- Promote good health: Eat regular, well-balanced, healthy meals, schedule study breaks, take exercise and make sure to get enough sleep. Consider taking multivitamins if your diet is not ideal.
- Headache: Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Study in a well-ventilated room and take regular breaks.
- Stomach upsets: Try to eat well. Eat small amounts regularly and avoid junk and spicy foods.
- Eczema: Keep the skin well moisturised with ointments and lotions. Avoid products with a high alcohol content as these can irritate sensitive skin.
- Asthma: Use inhalers as advised by your pharmacist. Preventative inhalers should be used regularly. Always Carry an inhaler with you so that it can be used during an exam, if required.
- Hay Fever: If you suffer with hay fever, keep doors and windows closed when studying, and avoid going outdoors when the pollen count is at its highest. Students who need to take antihistamines should make sure to take tablets that don’t cause drowsiness.
- Insomnia: Make sure to get enough sleep. Avoid products containing caffeine. Take some light exercise or a bath or shower in order to relax before bedtime. Don’t study in bed at night as the brain will become over-stimulated.