5 Top Tips to get you through exams

There’s no escaping the pressure of exams at this time of year, and it’s natural to worry about your students’ wellbeing.

But who’s looking out for you?

We know exams season can be a stressful time for teachers and everyone who works in education.

Here are our 5 top tips to help you handle exam stress:

1. Only worry about what you can control

If you find yourself worrying about exams, take a moment to consider the things you have control over.

Remember, whilst you can positively influence the learning of your students and give them the tools needed to get good grades, you can’t sit an exam for them or guarantee how they’ll perform.

To have the greatest impact, focus on being a good role model and setting healthy boundaries for yourself.

2. Give your mind something else to focus on

Teaching and the pressure of exams requires a high amount of cognitive, social and emotional investment, which can be very difficult to simply switch off from.

But rather than trying to think about nothing, give your mind something else to focus on outside work.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to have a go at?

Maybe it’s dancing, or learning a musical instrument.

Making time to do something pleasurable that you’re interested in will help keep your mind busy, away from constant exam pressure.

3. Exercise to help you sleep better

Being able to wind down at the end of the day is vital to aid sleep and wellbeing.

Some kind of activity – anything which tires your body – will help this. So try and factor in some kind of daily exercise, even if it’s just a brisk walk for ten minutes.

Exercise is one of the best ways to burn off those stress hormones coursing round your body and stop them from harming you.

A recent large scale study found that exercise every day reduces your risk of anxiety and stress levels by more than 40%.

4. Talk about it

Just voicing how you feel can be immensely soothing.

Even a quick chat with a colleague or friend in the staffroom can make all the difference and help you realise you’re not alone.

After all, most teachers are in the same boat at this time of year.

5. Stop

If you feel the pressure mounting at home or school, take a few moments to stop what you’re doing, take yourself out of the situation, take some deep breaths and count to 10.

These tips have been compiled by BBC Teach in collaboration with Education Support.

If exam stress does get too much, speak to a friend or colleague or call charity Education Support's free and confidential 24/7 emotional support helpline on 08000 562 561.

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