Blog

7 Ways To Keep Calm Before Exam Results Day!

 

The wait for GCSE and A-Level results day can feel endless, especially as assessments and education have been so different this year. If your child is nervously waiting for their results, we’re here to help. The Tutor In A Box team have put together 7 tips and tricks that can help them get through the next few weeks as stress-free as possible.

 

  1. Keep your mind and body occupied.

Nothing’s worse than just sitting around and waiting for something to happen. Days feel longer and you end up feeling more stressed. Keeping your mind and body occupied is essential to pass the time and get through the waiting period. Exercise, such as jogging, yoga, and walking, are all low-cost, effective, and fun (believe us on this one) ways to make you feel fantastic inside and out and should make sleeping at night that little bit easier – it’s a win-win!

Keeping your mind occupied is just as important. Try to avoid endlessly scrolling your phone. You’ll only end up comparing yourself to others (not helpful) or feeling overwhelmed with information. Instead, socialise with friends and family (where you can, and always sticking to current government restrictions), watch films and binge on new TV series, or even learn a new skill. Try Duolingo to learn a new language or explore the endless number of videos on YouTube to learn a new instrument or creative hobby, for example. Keeping your mind occupied will not only pass time but take your thoughts off what’s to come.

 

  1. Speak to family and/or friends.

It may sound cliché but speaking about how your feel with others is so important. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed, bottling it up is only going to make it worse. Speaking to those close to you will take a weight off your shoulder (even if it feels impossible) and give you the mental space to move on from your worries. If you find it difficult to speak to people, journaling is a great alternative for getting your feelings down on paper. Just remember to close the book, and your never-ending thoughts, shut after you’ve finished writing! Whatever method is best for you, make sure you’re not sitting with negative thoughts and feelings, as these can quickly spiral and lead to much bigger problems.

If you need someone to talk to, here are a few links and number you can contacts (UK only):

Childline – for anyone up to the age of 19 (https://www.childline.org.uk/)

Samaritans – (https://www.samaritans.org/)

YoungMinds – for anyone aged 13-20 (https://youngminds.org.uk/)

 

  1. Create a plan.

It may seem daunting but creating a list or a plan of your options will make the wait to results day a little easier. Consider all the potential outcomes and make a plan for every scenario. If you pass your exams (hooray!) you may get through to your first choice of sixth form/ college/ apprenticeship/ university, but it’s also helpful to think of other options just in case. Is retaking an option? Or maybe looking into employment instead? Creating a plan for all potential outcomes, no matter how difficult at first, will ultimately make results day seem a little less daunting and ease your mind ahead of results day.

 

  1. Recognise when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own feelings that we’re knee-deep in stress before we even realise. That’s why it’s so important to check in with your feelings. Bullet journaling can be a great way to track your mood, and if it’s on the decline, start using techniques to manage and reduce that stress. Practicing mindfulness can be a really effective way of stabilizing your mood, and apps such as Headspace are a popular option for this. Otherwise, exercise (yes, that again) can be great for distraction and release endorphins that boost your mood. Talking to people and staying healthy in body and mind can be difficult but are also proven stress-reducers.

For a quick method to reduce stress, try square breathing (also known as the 4×4 method). Start by exhaling all the air from your lungs, then inhale through your nose to the count of 4, hold for 4, exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds, and then hold again for 4 seconds, repeating for as long as it takes to calm your anxiety. Whatever your chosen method, recognizing your stress before it becomes too much is so important for managing pre-exam day anxiety.

 

 

  1. Get Outside.

There are so many studies now that show the advantages of getting out into the great outdoors. Website such as Mind[1] have listed the endless benefits of spending time outside, such as boosting your mood, reducing stress, and positively impacting your mood and anxiety levels. Walking (on your own or with a four-legged friend) can be a great way to get yourself into nature. Equally, sitting and reading in a garden or park can be just as beneficial. Even better, the weather between taking your exams and exam results day should be good! But even if it’s not, it’s still important to get out into the great outdoors as a method of reducing stress before your results are released.

[1] How nature benefits mental health | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems

 

  1. Self-Care

Cheesy? Yes. But effective? Definitely. Practicing self-care and looking after your body and mind are essential to good mental health and keeping calm. Sleep is one of the most difficult things to achieve during the exam period, so perhaps explore sleep apps such as Noisli, Pzizz, or Slumber, among many others, which can help you drift off. Establishing a night-time routine can also be beneficial, such as turning off electronic devices and hour before bed, taking a bath or shower, and avoiding long lie-ins (as tempting as that sounds) can all help to get those precious hours you need.

During the day, you could listen to your favourite music, practice yoga, or try colouring books to manage stress. Ultimately though, it often comes down to personal preference, some people find bungee jumping or mountain climbing very relaxing – good for you! Whatever your chosen method, perform it regularly and look after yourself, as this will help you to manage your mood before your grades are released.

 

  1. Always remember what you’ve achieved and how far you’ve come.

Sometimes we can become so wrapped up in the numbers we want, that we forget just how much we’ve achieved. Never forget that you’ve just come through one of the most intense, stressful, and challenging experiences in your life so far. Exams are hard, and you’ve done so well to get to where you are now. So take a step back, allow yourself to smile, and give yourself some credit, you have already achieved so much.

Putting this into perspective can take some of the fear and dread away from results day. Whatever happens, you can be proud of yourself, and that’s the most important thing.