How to look after your wellbeing during exams

Exams are here and we know it can be a stressful time, so we’ve put together some tips to look after your wellbeing.
However, if you’re struggling with stress or feeling overwhelmed support is available.
Our University has a Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service to provide you with help and support. There’s also resources online, such as Student Minds, that offer guidance.

The Library is also here to support you, take a look at our blog post about what services we’re offering during exams as well as our wellbeing reading list.

Keep reading to discover our tips for managing exam stress:

Plan - Lots of paper trays with rows of paper in different colours: blue, green, pink and red.
  • Create a schedule. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with tasks, so creating a plan or schedule can help to make revision more manageable. Create a schedule, break tasks down and don’t forget to add breaks! 
  • Prioritise. A schedule can help you know what to prioritise, this could be the nearest exam or topics that are worth the most marks. A plan can also help with spreading your revision across modules equally.  
Fuel - Several plates of healthy-looking food, the predominant colour is green.
  • Stay hydrated! Water is crucial for your body to function to its best ability. Being well hydrated also increases focus and is a simple way to help your studies.
  • Eat good meals. It’s easy to lose track of time while studying, so don’t forget to eat meals between all the snacking! We’ve complied some easy, student-friendly recipes for you to try.
  • Try to not overload on caffeine/energy drinks as they can reduce focus and your ability to sleep. A good night’s rest is often underestimated!
Rest - A blue and cream pattern of bubbles.
  • Remember to take breaks. Get some fresh air, grab a snack or take a 5 minute walk to name a few suggestions!
  • The Wivenhoe Trail is a scenic walk linking Wivenhoe and Colchester’s town centre. There’s an entrance to the trail on campus, on the crossroads of Boundary and Valley Road. This is the perfect route to relax and take a break from studying.
  • Schedule time for self-care, this could be anything you like such as watching a movie or going out for dinner with friends – as long as it’s something you can enjoy!  
  • Look after yourself with mindfulness app Medito or the website Mindful.
  • Did you know the library subscribes to video archive services Box of Broadcasts and Drama Online? Drama Online also contains the National Theatre Collection. Whilst these e-resources can be used for studying, they can also be a welcome break.
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  • Stay in touch with friends & family. Revising for exams can be isolating so try to include some group study sessions to still be social. Alternatively make time to catch-up with family or friends as a break from studying. 
  • If you are easily distracted, concentration apps such as Forest and Pomodoro could help you stay focused on studying.
  • You’re not alone – Exams are extremely stressful and it’s easy to believe everyone else is finding studying easier than you but this won’t be the case! Remember to be kind to yourself and celebrate your achievements regardless. It may not feel like it now, but exams aren’t everything.   

A Student’s PErspective

 We also asked our Frontrunner Veronika for a student’s approach to exams:

Hey, my name is Veronika. I work in the Library as a Workshop Marketing Assistant and am currently in my second year at the University of Essex. With deadlines and exams coming up, it’s easy to become overwhelmed whilst studying. Here are some tips that help me:

  • Divide your to-do list into two sections: the important tasks that cannot wait and tasks that would be nice to do but aren’t as vital and can wait. Another technique is to have only one important task for the day, that you MUST do.
  • Find the study space that works for you, for me this is studying in either the Library or the Silberrad. Using a space that is dedicated to studying helps me avoid distractions and remain more focused, as it’s harder for me to waste time on my phone!
  • Having a study buddy is great for better understanding a topic, quizzing each other and keeping up motivation.
  • YouTube is a notable resource for yoga and meditation videos that help me relax.
  • I find mornings determine my mood for the day and I’m sometimes guilty of procrastination. I know how hard it is to wake up and choose to study and work on your personal goals, but exams are only temporary – soon it will be summer!
A backdrop of bookshelves crammed full with beautiful books, in the foreground is a speech bubble that says 'you've got this!'.

Good luck everyone!


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