December 11, 2017
Anxiety, a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about performance outcome, before board exams is absolutely normal. Some anxiety is necessary for an optimum performance and it can be handled and managed in effective ways.
Here are some suggestions to students preparing for board exams:
1. Make a study plan and include short breaks for tea/snacks and refreshments and chat and playing games in it. Motivate yourself to follow through. If you were able to stick to your plan for a couple of days, treat yourself with extra refreshment time on the third day.
2. Wake up with determination to follow through your plan for the day. Give positive statements to yourself like ‘Today is a good day, and I am going to make best use of it’. A positive change in the way you think changes your entire day.
3. Make your learning fun. You can voice record your notes, rewind and play it as you walk to a nearby store or park. Use different coloured glitter or sketch pens for note-making. Stick your favourite food item or sports person picture on your text book. This will help you to create liking for the subject.
4. Give 15 to 20 minutes a day for music. Listen to a pleasant song or melody daily. If you have a musical instrument of your own enjoy playing it. This will calm you down and change your mood.
5. See to that you sleep 6 hours a day. Don’t skip meals and drink plenty of water.
6. Keep yourself away from people who try to put exam pressures/demands on you, be it a relative or neighbour.
7. Find an adult well-wisher in your family/school who you can trust and share your preparation plans with and let out your exam frustrations and discuss concerns. Say for instance a teacher who is kind and supportive, or an uncle who is non-judgmental and encouraging.
8. Stay connected with your friends. Keep track of reference books and notes they use. Set a time twice everyday to use your mobile phone. The rest of the day, keep away from your phone.
9. Stay away from chatting on social networks. Do not waste time on TV.
10. Follow ‘Thought stop technique’ when you get distracted while studying. Each time distracting thoughts come to your mind say ‘stop’ to yourself or aloud and continue to study. Repeat this exercise throughout your study time.
11. Counter negative thoughts with positive ones. For instance if you feel anxious thinking you might flunk in maths, reassure yourself with statements like ‘ I am capable of doing well in maths because I have been spending time solving problems and clarifying doubts with my teacher I am working hard and I will pass.’
Note to Parents:
Dear parents, let us not place too much demands on your child’s performance. Let your child be her/himself and try what best s/he can do. Provide your support and encouragement to your child during her/his preparation phase.
In case your child is finding it extremely hard to deal with her/his anxieties, please seek help from a student counsellor.
Every child is unique in her/his own way. Let us embrace our kids for what they are.
The author of the column is Swathi Priya. P , Counselling Psychologist
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own