My GCSE time hath come. This gargantuan dark shadow has been looming over me since year 9 and has been coming closer and closer until, bam, it's here. The shadow is, of course, the GCSE shadow (metaphors aren't my strong point). Stress and anxiety levels rocket up at this horrible time, but you've got this! YOU CAN DO IT!
Here are some little tips I'm using to get through this bit:
1) Put it into perspective.
I know this sounds a little harsh, but it's easy to get dramatic over GCSE's (see opening paragraph). Obviously they're extremely difficult and not many people actually enjoy this time, but just think of that gorgeous stretch of Summer and the new and exciting future waiting for you!
2) Have little incetives.
Okay, this may sound a little odd and not very, I don't know... it sounds a little over the top and selfish BUT this really has helped me when I'm feeling all stressed. I've got some things planned for the Summer, ranging from things like getting a nose piercing (yaaay!), to getting a smoothie after my exams, making banana bread and spending the day watching Disney films after my final exam, to just having the weight of all this stuff off my chest. Sometimes just thinking of the massive smile on your f
ace when you think about how free you are in the very near future can make you feel amazing. Just me? Oh, okay...
3) Work hard, recycle your worries.
When you work for an exam, do the exam and come out, that should be it for those thoughts. There is literally no point of thinking about what you COULD have written, how you COULD have made it better, how you COULD have included that thing you saw on the news the other day. Results day is always going to be scary but try not to think about all the things you missed or could have done after an exam, you can't change it and you did your best.
4) Plan yo' time!
I'm not very good at this, so this may be slightly hypocritical here (sorry) but, planning out your day or week or MONTH can help so much. When there's lots to do, planning your day by times or segments can make you feel so calm and kind of powerful. I like to include a bit of meditation in the morning, a nice breakie, one piece of work, lunch, another piece of work, exercise, dinner, relax. Sometimes work at night is essential and exercising for longer amounts of time has to be skipped but I really believe a bit of down time and a little bit of exercise or just general movement can help your brain and your health.
This really depends on what makes you feel comfortable of course, but I thought I'd include this because it seems to be helping me masses recently. I like to wake up, do all the morning routine business then get on the mat and just spare five minutes for some guided positive affirmation meditation a day. It makes me feel so calm and peaceful and throughout the day if I'm feeling fluttery and flustery to just remind myself of some of the positive affirmations included. If you don't want to meditate, just focus on breathing at times of difficulty. Got a question in that geography paper that you have not a clue about how to answer? Lay your feet on the ground and take some deep breaths through your nose. A little bit of deep breathing can often help you feel so grounded (but don't be surprised if the invigilator has to double take to check if you're darth vader). You can also kind of actively meditate, by taking your dogs for a walk, or just going on a lovely afternoons walk or cycle ride.
I hope this was slightly helpful, and please tell me how you cope with exams/stress down below!