Exam Stress Doesn’t Need To Beat You
Every student knows that one of the most stressful times of the year is the exam period. With many students focusing on studying but also trying to hold down a part-time job too, it can be easy to get bogged down in exam stress and forget all about self-care. However, self-care is vitally important and can be the difference between success and failure, especially if your anxiety about exams can manifest as physical symptoms like tight muscles, panic attacks and headaches. The best way to deal with this is to take a pro-active approach and take care of your mental health while hitting the books. Here are three apps you can download to help with mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
Calm was voted the Best App of 2017 in the Apple App Store and has over 24 million downloads, according to their website. The app has a daily guided meditation with a range of nature-themed background pictures and sounds, a library of audio books called Sleep Stories read by the likes of Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley and a special folder of meditations specifically aimed at students to assist with mindfulness while studying to help them beat exam stress.
It’s free to download but there is also a paid version, which costs around £45 per year. For that you get full access to all features, while the free version only gives you a limited trial. When considering whether to invest that much in an app, you would have to weigh up how much you would benefit from it personally and how often you would us the app. There’s also a monthly subscription option if you only want to use it for exam periods, which at the time of publishing is £7.99.
Stop, Breathe & Think
Stop, Breathe & Think is another award winning emotional wellness platform, this time winning the 2017 People’s Voice Award at the Webby Awards. It specifically targets younger users, namely those under 25. Most students would fall into this age group. It guides users through a range of situations, like university challenges, pregnancy, and finding focus with techniques like mindful breathing. It also supports a program called Tools For Peace, donating 10% of all profits to the scheme which teaches mindfulness and meditation to inner-city teens. This app can also integrate with Amazon Echo so users can access it just by calling out to Alexa. It also integrates with the health app on iPhones. Just like Calm, this comes with a premium version, priced slightly higher at £54.99.
Headspace is an app that has been around for a little while and currently has over 400,000 users. The basic version is free to download and offers ten days worth of free meditation to try the app while you consider whether you want to purchase the full version. You can choose to work on sleep, anxiety or focus, all of which could benefit your study skills. It starts by assessing your prior experience of meditation and tailoring the length of the sessions depending on how experienced you are. After that, it takes into account what you want to work on, when you want to meditate.
The best feature for students is that there are two specific packs of meditations you can purchase for the app, namely the Leaving Home pack and the Distractions pack. It is a little more expensive than the others to purchase but there are plenty of features to make it worth the price tag. This costs £9.99 per month or £74.99 per year.
Have you tried any apps that help with stress levels during exam periods? Share them with us!