I am a naturally very anxious person who gets stressed extremely easily and finds it very difficult to cope with pressuring situations; my mother tells me that I’ve always been anxious and had a very nervous disposition and tendency to worry ever since I was a tiny toddler. I find that pressure gets to me very easily and I worry about anything and everything!
Something in particular which I get very anxious and stressed over are exams, I’m sure many of you have experienced or are currently experiencing very similar feelings when it comes to exams. I think there are three types of people when it comes to sitting examinations; type one are the lucky people, the people that perform to the best of their ability under the pressure exams bring and come out with the best results. The second group are people who aren’t particularly bothered by the pressure and therefore don’t let it stress them out too much, however they don’t necessarily do as well in exams as they do in class. The final and third group of people are those who are affected by the pressure extremely easily, worry for weeks leading up to the exam and never do as well as they know they’re able to during the exam. I most definitely fall into the third group of people; I’m not an under achiever, I like to think I’m quite intelligent and I’ve always gotten good grades and met my targets throughout my schooling, however, now I’m in the deadly year of GCSE’s (if you’re not from England and don’t know what they are, they’re a big set of exams you take at the end of your secondary school years when you’re 15/16 years of age) I’m really starting to struggle. I’m letting the stress and pressure of the looming exams really affect me and it’s causing me become very anxious and find it difficult to accept that if I work as hard as I can and revise enough and put the effort in, I can succeed. I’ve been targeted top grades in nearly all of my subjects and it’s starting to dawn on me that I’m really going to have to keep my anxiety and stress levels under control if I have any hope of achieving the high grades my teachers think I’m capable of.
Back in November, just before we broke up for the Christmas holidays we had mock week, probably the most awful week of this school year so far… At the beginning of the week I felt prepared and although I was a little stressed I thought I would be able to handle the exams well and get them all over with successfully. Oh how very wrong I was… I managed the first three exams decently, until it came to the morning of the maths exam, then everything went down hill from there… To cut a long story short I basically had a mini breakdown, had to be pulled out of the maths exam and spent most of the day in tears in my head of years office… It was at this point that I made the promise to myself that with them help of my school and my parents, I would work out how I could help to control my anxiety and stress and prevent anything like this melt down from happening again.
Now, after that very long winded ramble that I like to call the introduction, I’m going to tell you guys how I get to work at suppressing my nerves and keeping the anxiety at bay:
It all begins the day before; I’m extremely lucky in the fact that I attend a school which has excellent pastoral care and if you do too you should most definitely take advantage of that. The day before the exam I go and speak to one of my heads of house and we have a chat about how I’m feeling about the upcoming exam and we’ll talk through all the info about what will happen before and after etc etc. This really helps because it puts me in good spirits about the exam and generally makes me feel far more positive. Then that evening I will really chill out; I have a lovely relaxing bath using the Tisserand bath soak which has aromas that really help me feel calm and are specially designed to relax your muscles, clear your head and get you ready for a good nights sleep.
After my bath I use everything that I mentioned in my Key To A Good Nights Sleep blog post, all of those products help me prepare for a good nights sleep and they also help me to sleep through the night without any disturbances which I think is key the night before a big exam.
On the morning of the exam I make sure I get up in plenty of time to ensure that I’m not in a rush at all and have enough time to organise myself and make sure that I have everything together that I need for the exam. I then make sure I eat a good breakfast! Even though the butterflies in my tummy tend to be building by this point I’m still aware of the fact that it is exceedingly important to eat a good nutritious breakfast which is packed full of energy to help maintain your concentration during the exam and stop your tummy from rumbling and creating mini earthquakes throughout the examination!
Once Ive finished breakfast I use my Tisserand energy roller ball to give me an extra kick of energy and make me feel alive, awake and ready! These rollerballs are absolutely fantastic, believe it or not they really do work and because they’re so small they’re easy to just pop in your bag and carry around with you so you can top up whenever you need to. The scents of each of the rollerballs are specifically designed to help achieve the energy boost you want.
Just before I leave the house I use my beloved rescue remedy in two different ways to help maintain my cool; firstly I just put a couple of drops straight onto my tongue and then I also fill up a water bottle with water and drop a few drops in and give it a good shake! I then take this bottle into the exam so I can take small sips if I begin to feel a bit jittery. Rescue remedy works absolute wonders and it’s a product I would recommend above all else if you have a high tendency to get worried and nervous.
The other rollerball pictured above is the de-stress rollerball, I use this one just before I have to put my stuff away in preparation to go into the exam. Just like the energy rollerball you simply rub it on your pressure points and you’l instantly be able to smell it and the beautiful combination of essential oils in it work an absolute treat. The great thing about all the products I’ve mentioned is that they’re natural and not harmful in the slightest and THEY ACTUALLY WORK! They’re not just silly herbal remedies that don’t really do much, they do genuinely work wonders.
Of course these products and techniques don’t have to be used specifically for exam stress, you can use them to help keep any type of worry and anxiety under control, I’ve used them whilst in other stressful situations and they work just as effectively.
I hope this post was helpful and useful, I put a lot of thought into it and I promise that this routine really does make a difference and it’s really helped me to keep my exam apprehension and anxiety under control and I hope it works for you guys too!