How to handle anxiety

Studying can be stressful for everyone: whether you are in high school, university, or an adult studying additional courses. There is the pressure to pass and to excel; the expectations of family, educators, and friends; the stress of the workload and schedule; and sometimes there are additional factors such as finances and other personal issues. Therefore, it’s a must as a student to know how to handle the anxiety that can come with studying and exams.

Having a study schedule is a must, and the key to this schedule is keeping it realistic. Your schedule has to allow for breaks and time off so that you can still enjoy leisure activities and periods of relaxation. The best time to map out your schedule is about a week or two after your studies have commenced. Again, this is so that you can set realistic goals. You may not know the pace you work at, or how much your courses require of you before you’ve actually started studying.

Give yourself a trial period to see the pace you work at and to get a feel for how demanding your subjects are. Of course, your schedule must be in accordance with assignment deadlines, and you should definitely consider that you want to finish all your material and still have sufficient time for revision before exams.

Give yourself a good amount of rest days every week or every two weeks. Overwhelming yourself with work and never taking time out for yourself and for your family and friends will only add to your stress. The same applies to your actual studying times – you should allow yourself a breather every 40 minutes or so. Take this time to stretch, have a healthy snack, and gather your thoughts. Your focus will be increased for when you get back to your desk again.

You need the support of your family, friends, and teachers early on already. Don’t wait to become so overwhelmed before reaching out to them. For example, letting your family and friends know that your time may be slightly more limited is a great way to avoid the stress or tension of them feeling distanced or isolated.

It’s also imperative to have their support if you aren’t sure how to handle the added anxiety of your studies. Having someone you can talk to and who can offer you added support, encouragement, and inspiration can make a world of difference.

It’s also so helpful to have a positive relationship with your teachers/lecturers and tutors that is established early on in your course. As long as you’re also bringing your side, you’ll be able to rely on your educators for extra assistance, guidance, and tips.

You can’t manage anxiety, or even study, if you are always exhausted or unwell – in fact, this will only add to your problems. You need to take care of yourself! This means different things for different people. Maybe you need to improve your diet and start an exercise regimen; or perhaps you need to have a better sleep schedule. This may also mean receiving professional help or guidance if you are suffering from emotional or financial problems.
Your studies are probably integral to what you want to accomplish. You owe it to yourself to give yourself the best shot you have at succeeding, and that starts with taking care of your needs.

Lastly, a key part of how to handle anxiety during your studies is your attitude. You need to congratulate yourself for your victories – no matter how small they are – and minimise the areas in which you haven’t done too well with a positive attitude. For example, feel proud of being on schedule or passing a difficult assignment! And when you don’t met expectations, use it as a learning tool rather than a reason to get down yourself. You’re bound to handle your anxiety far better when you are kinder to yourself.