Exam time is the most stressful time of the year, both for the students as well as their parents. Exam stress can in fact, have severe implications on the overall health and well being of children, who can come across health issues like insomnia, lack of appetite, nausea, black-outs and fatigue. Their mental alignment may be upset too, as may suffer from problems related to learning capacity and concentration power, and in rare cases, they may become depressed and even suicidal. Parents too succumb to this stressful situation but they can play a key role in helping the children to alleviate exam stress.
Here are some simple tips to alleviate exam stress:
Frame a time-table
Advance planning can go a long way in de-stressing the students during exams and framing a time table does it the best. The entire syllabus needs to be assessed and allocated time periods for covering individual topics. Parents can help children in chalking out the schedule, with short breaks in between. Ensuring 7-8 hours of sleep is essential for reducing tension.
A supportive attitude of parents
Parents can be the pillars of strength for their children in all stressful situations, including examinations. Rescheduling of professional commitments should be done where needed as parents should be at the child’s side during this period. Just being there can be of great help in alleviating the child’s stress, and so can be unconditional love and support. Also, parents should not burden the child with big expectations.
This is the time when a child’s body may react differently, while some lose appetite completely, others are afflicted by hunger pangs. Parents need to offer a balanced and nutritious diet, comprising of vegetables, whole grains, fruit salads, nuts and milkshakes. A burger or chocolate may come as a treat, but such treats should be rare. Drinking plenty of water can also keep the child active and hydrated. Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea should be avoided. Regularity of meals is also important.
The child may have to put in long hours for rigorous study and this can lead to physical fatigue and mental stress. Physical activity can be a good way to get rid of tiredness and stress. Parents can accompany the child for a walk in the garden or a short cycle ride. Meditation and yoga can be a good way to relax the body and mind.
Another excellent tip to alleviate exam stress is massage, which can relax the exhausted child to a great extent. Parents can try simple massage techniques over the neck, back and temples. Herbal oils like almond oil can make it even more effective. The massage can be followed by a relaxing, hot bath.
Parents should be positive during this period and appreciate the child for his efforts. They should allow a few minutes of the child’s favorite activity, like playing a game of cricket or using a gadget. Medical advice can be sought in extreme cases.