Exam Season

Exam season is well underway with students in schools, colleges and universities busy preparing for what can be a stressful and anxious period.

"This time of year can be challenging not only for students who are studying for their exams but also for families and others trying to offer support." said Tony McLaren, Breathing Space National Coordinator.

"Stress can help us cope in difficult situations and in small amounts can be a good motivator but problems arise when pressures build up and start to affect mental wellbeing." said Tony.

Tips for stress management can be found through the new NHS inform Mental Health and Wellbeing Zone which has links to other websites and resources providing practical advice for dealing with stress.

"Signs of stress can include irritability, loss of appetite, problems with sleep, headaches, dizziness and poor concentration. Long-term stress and anxiety is more difficult to resolve yourself, so identifying factors which are contributing to stress early on is important. Sometimes taking breathers more often or perhaps trying some relaxation techniques can help you to deal with stress more effectively." said Tony.

Mental health charity Penumbra offered this advice to students: "It is important at this time of the year to spend the right amount of time studying your subjects and preparing for your exams. Locking yourself away all day and night, spending too much time going over things, can seriously affect your wellbeing. It is crucial to "take time out". Our brains can only concentrate for a certain length of time, therefore it is important to allow time to rest our minds and do the things we enjoy. This in turn will help to reduce stress levels, allow us to study more effectively and help to maintain a study/life balance. Organising your time to suit you will help you to feel that you are as prepared as you can be and will help maintain your wellbeing on the day of your exam and throughout the year."