Pat's Answer

I really need advice on how to cope with stress. Especially when it comes to exams.

Your Question

Hi Alex. I really need advice on how to cope with stress. Especially when it comes to exams. Ive tried so hard to do all the things that help take stress away… however nothing helps. I am mostly stressing about my upcoming exams. Theyre really important to me and I really need to get good marks in order to be in the higher level in my year 9 class. Ive tried revising but it just doesnt work for me. Somehow i got really bad marks last year when i thoroughly revised. Could there possibly be a more easier way to avoid this stress because sometimes i cant take it anymore and i burst out crying. Sometimes id wish my life ended right there and then. Im keeping up with this stress because of my family, i dont want them knowing I am stressing. The only people that know about my stress are my school friends who are really stressed along with me. So please please pleaseeeeee could you provide a few really good top tips on how to go easy on stress and prepare for my exams, tips that would really change my stress life and make me feel happy for the life I have. Thank you so much

Answer

Hi there, and welcome to Ask Alex. Thank you for getting in touch. 

It sounds like you have a lot on your mind at the minute, and from what you’re saying, it seems like the stress you’re feeling is really having an impact on you and your wellbeing. 

Exams can be very stressful for a lot of people so it’s understandable that you may be feeling overwhelmed right now. It’s okay to feel like this as school can be a difficult time when you’re trying to juggle things, but remembering to be kind to yourself is very important in these tough times. You mentioned that you’ve been crying and felt so upset that you wanted your life to end. We’d be concerned to hear that you’ve been having these thoughts and feelings. By messaging us, you took a very brave step in trying to improve things for yourself so well done for that. 

When things are overwhelming, sometimes talking to someone can be hugely helpful. You mentioned that you feel reluctant to speak to those close to you, maybe this is an option worth reconsidering? Do you have adults in your life that you feel you could trust? Someone you could talk to openly about how you are feeling and the impact this stress is having on you. Examples of trusted adults may be someone like a parent/guardian, auntie, uncle, grandparent, older cousin or older sibling. Perhaps you might feel comfortable talking to a teacher or your school counsellor. You mentioned that you’ve confided in your friends already which is great, so maybe doing the same with someone outside the situation could helpful for you as they may come up with some ideas or suggestions around how to manage and cope with these overwhelming feelings. 

As we mentioned earlier, being kind to yourself is really important. This means self-care and doing things to improve your overall health and wellbeing. You said that you’ve tried a few different things and are looking for some more ideas. A lot of people find that doing things they love is a great stress reliever. It varies depending on people’s interests, so maybe trying different things could be helpful: exercising, dancing, sport, reading, music, movies, going outdoors and meditation are all things that people of all ages find helpful. It is important to relax and take some time out so that we give our minds time to recover. Taking study breaks and getting proper sleep would also be really important in feeling your best and will help you cope with any challenges that may come up for you. With regards to studying tips, you might like to check the Childline website out for some useful advice: https://www.childline.ie/11-tips-to-help-you-prepare-for-your-exams/ as well as this one: https://blog.prepscholar.com/how-to-study-better-in-high-school 

If you ever feel like chatting to anyone here in Childline you are very welcome to call us anytime on 1800 66 66 66; we’re here to listen to anything that’s on your mind. You can also use Childline’s text service by texting 50101 or to contact us online visit www.childline.ie and you can register there to chat with us. All of our services are free, available 24 hours a day and are confidential and non-judgmental. Alternatively, if you feel your mental health is really suffering from the stress you’re experiencing, there are services out there to help young people experiencing this: www.jigsaw.iewww.yourmentalhealth.ie. 

We hope you find this reply helpful and that you get the support you need to feel calmer and happier with your school life. Remember, you’re never alone and you can always contact Childline if you need to talk. 

Best of luck with your upcoming exams. 

Take care, 

Alex

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