According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, a recent study in 2017 showed that Singaporean students experience high levels of anxiety compared to their peers in other countries. This might be a result of a highly competitive education system or a strong cultural emphasis on good grades. Whichever the case, students should know that there are methods you can undertake to manage anxiety whenever you feel it creeping up on you. Here are several handy tips you can use to handle your stress:
Get some sleep
Maybe an exam or a competition is around the corner and you’re feeling the heat, so you decided to forgo sleep, choosing to dedicate the night before to studying your notes and practising your techniques. You probably found yourself even more anxious in the morning, while feeling physically exhausted after pulling that all-nighter. It’s important to sleep at a regular hour each night so your mind and body can rest and recuperate for the battle it has to face the following day. If you find yourself stressed out over something, a simple but elegant solution is to calm down and take a short nap to reset your brain. You’ll find yourself calmer and focused when you wake up.
Yes, I know you have four tests coming up this month, three tutorials to submit tomorrow and a competition at the end of the week. How could you possibly have time to exercise? The thing is, light exercise can be an extremely effective form of stress relief. It doesn’t have to be a full body workout; instead of watching videos or playing games during your study breaks you could do a bit of yoga or go for a short run around the park. You’d be surprised at how much better you feel after a quick jog around the block.
Do you need an espresso shot before you start your work? Recent studies suggest that that last cup of joe might not have been the best idea. Stimulants like caffeine might help perk you up when you’re rushing an essay, but it also drastically amplifies stress levels. You might have needed to order that Starbucks drink in order to reserve a table for mugging, but let’s try switching to decaf instead. An even better alternative would be to drink the glorious ambrosia we call water so as to remain hydrated; a key factor in staving off anxiety.
Talk to someone
At the end of a really stressful day, simply telling someone about it can help release some of your anxiety. Being able to recount the events of your day with someone who’s willing to listen can be a huge relief, allowing you to unwind and relax a little. A strong emotional support system is essential to stress relief, and if you feel like seeing a counsellor might help you cope with your anxiety there is no shame in finding one, either privately or through the school. Like your teachers, the school counsellor is not there to judge or discipline you, but to help you.