6 steps to combat stress

theaccablog —  13 May 2014 — 4 Comments


by ACCA student blogger Ng Jia Wen

Anxiety is inevitable. No matter how prepared we may be, we will get nervous. After all, if you study to the point where your life or death depends on the final grade, you’re bound to get nervous before and after the exam (technically true, but no rational person would go to that extent, except maybe me).

So, the next time you feel that wave of anxiety rushing within you and the level of stress, rising try the following:

Step 1: Stop whatever you are doing at that moment.

It’s very tempting to rationalize with yourself and say, ’but I’m about to finish this last page!’ or ‘I’m going to finish the last sub-question!’ DON’T let that get to you. You’ll feel unsettled and frazzled and nothing productive would be accomplished.

Step 2: Take a break.

A power nap would be best. If you had too much coffee to the extent that sleeping is difficult (shame on you), close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. It helps to ease the escalating dizziness and that feeling of bile going up to your throat. (There are certain breathing techniques that I may not be aware of. If you do and those methods work for you, use them!)

After a 20-30 minute power nap and or an allocated time for breathing techniques…

Step 3: Draft your ‘game plan’.

It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to get it done. Construct a ‘game plan’, your to-do list for the day, or maybe for the next 3 days of what you plan to accomplish in those 1-3 days for your studies. Remember to consider time to rest and relax. (Don’t forget about sleep, and food. All humans need those. And you’re a human, right?)

If you had a game plan from the start, review and revise it. Cross off tasks that you had completed and fill in new ones. Also, schedule in for sleep and food and unavoidable commitments.

Once you’ve set up the game plan…

Step 4: Quote Nike’s tagline: ‘Just do it’.

Dive into that mountain of books, get busy and start crossing those items off your to-do list. JUST do it. It is crucial, failing which, you might decide to skip the work for the day and continue ‘rewarding yourself’ for the ‘long hours’ that you had put in.

Oh, and the feeling of crossing an item off a to-do list will really motivate you to press on.

But if you start feeling bored, or pent-up frustration starts rising…

Step 5: Switch up your study method.

It would maintain the momentum of studying whilst giving your brain a different challenge. Bored of reading your notes? Try making flash cards. Tired of making flash cards? Try out some questions. Stuck on questions? Switch back to reading your notes. A change would avoid stress from escalating.

Once you accomplished what you were supposed to finish…

Step 6: Reward yourself.

Small rewards go a long way. They keep you motivated and energised to reach your final goal. Treat yourself to, say, an hour of TV or an ice cream for revising 2 chapters or completing a past year paper.

Well done! Give yourself a small pat on the back, and its back to the books again!


That’s it from me. I’d like to end here with a song title that keeps me going, ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’, and I hope it may inspire you to keep going. Until then, keep up the good fight, study smart and take care of your health!


4 responses to 6 steps to combat stress


    tks for the post . i like it to just do it. and for the rewards , hope i will not over reward my self for even the slightest achievement. ofcourse No mountain high enough to climb. It will linger but will come to pass…. all the best in everyones exams


    Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement. we surely need it during this critical time. please advice on time management as well.


    very encouraging….

    stressbreaker 23 May 2014 at 8:23 am

    The few weeks leading up to the exams is the toughest….

    We might be tempted to quit and say what’s the point but until you finish your exams, don’t give up.

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