Mental Health Blog

Coping With Exam Stress

With exams quickly coming, it is common to feel pressured and overwhelmed. However, it is important to be able to manage your stress.

Here are some tricks that may help. I use many of these regularly myself.

Breathing Exercises: Sometimes you can feel like so much is going on that you can’t seem to even breathe properly. Other times, you simply may be feeling very pressured. Breathing exercises can help well in many of these scenarios.

Two that work well are:

  • Breath in for four and out for four and breath in for four, hold for two, breath out for four.
  • Imagine yourself calm and relax your muscles while doing it.

I find this very effective in calming me down and refocusing when I’m stressed.

Suck on an ice cube: I know this one sounds strange, but it works miracles. When you’re stressed or your anxiety is spiking, the body triggers a flight or fight response. However, the sudden cold from the ice cube distracts your brain from the feeling of panic and stress, since it is suddenly shocked by the presence of the ice cube, numbing the flight or fight response and resulting in you to calm down.

This trick can even be used to prevent panic and anxiety attacks and has been proven to work. For me, this is one of my go-to tricks if I am home and feeling anxious over something.

Get out of the house for a bit: Whether you do this by hanging out with friends, extra-curriculars, or volunteering, getting out of the house and doing something you enjoy with others around your age for a bit can help you relax and enjoy yourself. It distracts you from focusing on what you are studying for a bit and a laugh or two from doing something you enjoy always goes a long way!

Eat citrus fruits: Don’t like the scent of lavender much? Well, neither do I. Instead, I choose to eat a citrus fruit like an orange. Some studies show that eating fruits rich with vitamin C has the potential to calm you down and reduce your feeling of anxiety. Besides that, fruits can make you feel overall more refreshed and boost your mood as well. The best part is fruits are healthy so you’re still getting nutrition in anyways and its a quick snack to eat when studying or having a break!

Write a list: Write a to-do list right before you go to bed. That way, your brain will not be occupied trying to remember everything you have to do the following day and you can focus on getting a good night’s sleep instead.

Take a break: Let’s say you have been studying for a very long time and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. Go ahead and take a break! During this break, you can practice some self-care habits such as taking a warm bath. Remember, this is your break time. Do not think about what you have to do during your break!

Lastly, it’s okay to feel stressed or have anxiety. You are not alone.


Benefits of To Do Lists. (2014, August 28). Retrieved July 21, 2020, from

Canada, P. (2015, June 03). Government of Canada. Retrieved July 21, 2020, from

How Worry Affects Your Body. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2020, from

Williams, T. (2020, June 03). Woman reveals simple trick to prevent panic attacks – and all you need is an ice cube. Retrieved July 21, 2020, from

Note: The Free Your Mind Mental Health Society is an independent youth-led organization. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In the event of a medical emergency, please call your doctor or 911 or other local emergency numbers immediately.

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