Exam season is stressful enough, but what many students struggle with is the run up to and the publication of their exam results. Since A Level results came out today, certain vocational qualifications were released yesterday, and GCSEs out on the 22nd August, the Exam Results Helpline and Mental Health UK have partnered together to provide a range of tips on how to deal with the stress in the run up to and on results day:
- Exercise: Exercise is a great way to get on top of stress, not only can it release endorphins and other neurotransmitters which can help to balance out stress hormones. There are plenty of ways to do this and it’s important that you find something you enjoy doing. Traditional options like going for a run, cycling, going to the gym, or going for a walk are still popular, but joining a sports team is also a great option especially with its social side! Anything to get your heart rate up and/or calm you down is useful from yoga to a walk in the park.
- Get enough sleep: It may sound obvious but being well rested will do you a world of good both in the run up to results, and the period after – which can be especially useful if you haven’t done as well as you thought you did and need to go through clearing. With emotions heightened, a good night’s sleep will help you rationalise whats going on and deal with it in a calm way.
- Eat well: While the temptation is always there to opt for something quick and easy or to overindulge, especially in times of stress, healthy eating can benefit your mental health and mood. Swapping out something unhealthy for something much better for you is a great idea e.g. swapping a doughnut or sugary cereal for a bowl of porridge or fruit for breakfast. Remember, its not just what you eat, but also when you eat and that you eat. Don’t get into the habit of skipping meals and try to stick to your daily routine in terms of when you eat your meals.
- Do something nice: Do something that you enjoy and that you can fill your time with. Ideally, one activity every day. This doesn’t have to be anything major, it could just be meeting with friends, having some family time, or just reading a book/binge watching your latest series. On results day, regardless of how you’ve done, go and celebrate! Reward yourself for the effort and hard work you put in, even if the end result wasn’t quite what you wanted.
- Seek advice: Whether you did well or not so well, getting advice from experts can help you to get your bearings and explain what your results really mean for you. If you’ve done much better than you expected, then speaking to the right person might point you in the direction of doors you didn’t realise were now open. If you’ve not done as well as you hoped, speaking to the right person might help paint a picture of where you need to go from here. The National Careers Service run their Exam Results Helpline, a free service for both students and parents to seek advice. Remember to talk to your teachers too! They’ve taught you in the run up to the exams, and they know you better than most people, so they might be able to give you guidance on what next steps to take.
To get that advice from the National Careers Service contact their Exam Results Helpline on:
0800 100 900 (calls are free from landlines and most mobiles)
Put your well-being ahead of your grades. If you think you’re struggling, remember to ask for help. If you’re anxious about upcoming results, or didn’t get the ones you were hoping for and don’t know who to turn to, you can contact Samaritans:
116 123 (calls are FREE anytime from any phone, even a mobile without credit. The number will not show up on your phone bill).